Conference talk inspires guide dog supporter Rob

Joseph Bulmer

Rob Burkitt of oven valeting service Ovenu Newton Abbot has received a valuable insight into the important work carried out by the Guide Dogs charity as part of its Name a Puppy scheme.

George Upfield, who was left severely visually impaired after suffering a brain tumour aged nine, visited Ovenu’s annual conference along with his guide dog Yoko.

Rob, from Torquay, is one of more than 120 Ovenu franchisees throughout the UK who named puppy Selsey and are funding her training to become a fully qualified guide dog. The black Labrador, now almost 12 months old, is described as “progressing well”.

George, who started volunteering with the Guide Dogs at the age of 16, later began work with the charity as an administrator, and was recently appointed an operations support coordinator.

He described the many aspects of the charity’s work and thanked everyone for their generous donations and puppy sponsorship.

Rob, 34, said: “George’s talk was inspirational and really brought home how important it is to sponsor the training of puppies like Selsey. Guide Dogs offer life-changing independence and freedom to people living with sight loss. However, it’s more than just mobility, because the companionship of a guide dog also brings positive psychological and social effects.”

Ovenu has set up a Just Giving page that allows clients to make further donations to Guide Dogs at