Buddy Dog Pablo inspires Coppull sponsored school 'walkies'

From tots who have just learned to walk, to classroom teachers and assistants, everyone at Coppull Primary School and Nursery has Walked Their Socks Off for charity.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 3:45 pm

The school and nursery has raised £1,207 for Guide Dogs, after seeing first hand the work that they do and where the money goes.

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Reception class pupil Macy Heald, five, has Alstrom Syndrome and is likely to need a Guide Dog in the future. The syndrome is extremely rare - affecting only 80 families in the UK-and is characterised by retinal degeneration, sensitivity to light, hearing loss, obesity and insulin resistance.

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Macy Heald (centre), her brother Milo, Pablo, and SENCO Lynsey Todhunter

To help her, Macy has been paired with Pablo, a Buddy Dog provided by Guide Dogs, who walks with her to school and back and is a comforting presence at home.

“Pablo has become quite an attraction for the children”, said headteacher Michael Chambers.

“He doesn’t come into class, but he comes into the grounds and we’ve all learned about what he does.

“Before Macy came to school, I don’t think any of us knew about Buddy Dogs.”

Macy with her mum Yvonne and Pablo

He added: “We wanted to show our appreciation for the work that Guide Dogs provide many families in the UK and when we heard about their Walk Your Socks Off campaign, our special educational needs coordinator Lynsey Todhunter thought it would be an ideal opportunity to raise money for the charity.”

From May 17 to 22, 350 members of the school took turns walking in the school field, with sessions scheduled into timetables. Between them, they managed to rack up 695 miles.

Mr Chambers said: “I have been blown away by the achievement and te generosity of parents.”