Food For Thought: Lancashire Homebuilders host dinner in the Dark to Raise Awareness for Guide Dogs

Lancashire housebuilders Barratt and David Wilson Homes recently hosted a ‘dinner in the dark’ event at their Centurion Village development to help raise awareness of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.
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The event in Leyland was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of South Ribble, Cllr Chris Lomax and Kim Lomax, who joined the homebuilders to celebrate the work of the national assistance dogs charity.

Guests were encouraged to enjoy a three-course lunch whilst wearing a blindfold to raise awareness of those living with visual impairments. In attendance from the Guide Dogs was Lynne Whittaker, Community Fundraising Relationship Manager, and Sue Chippendale, who is visually impaired herself and brought along her assistance dog, Hero, to the event.

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Hosts at the housebuilders included Alan Watt, Senior Sales Manager at Barratt Homes, and Faye Mortimer, Sales Adviser at David Wilson Homes. Everyone at the dinner was able to learn of Sue’s experience of living with a visual impairment, and the challenges she faces on a daily basis.

The Mayor of South Ribble taking part in the Dinner in the Dark at Centurion Village.  Photo: Barratt and David Wilson HomesThe Mayor of South Ribble taking part in the Dinner in the Dark at Centurion Village.  Photo: Barratt and David Wilson Homes
The Mayor of South Ribble taking part in the Dinner in the Dark at Centurion Village. Photo: Barratt and David Wilson Homes

Sue said: “This event provided an insight into how visually impaired people like me experience life on a daily basis.

“It’s a brilliant way to understand how such a basic activity as eating is a challenge when you have sight loss, whilst at the same time raising much-needed funds for Guide Dogs.

“We are very grateful to Barratt and David Wilson Homes for hosting this event for Guide Dogs.”

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Designed to raise awareness of the tasks people with visual impairments face every day, the aim of a dinner in the dark event is to encourage people to rely on their taste and hearing senses, whilst engaging in more thought-provoking conversation.

Guests in attendance at Barratt and DWH's Dinner in the Dark event. Photo: Barratt and David Wilson HomesGuests in attendance at Barratt and DWH's Dinner in the Dark event. Photo: Barratt and David Wilson Homes
Guests in attendance at Barratt and DWH's Dinner in the Dark event. Photo: Barratt and David Wilson Homes

Cllr Chris Lomax said: “The Mayoress and I were delighted to be invited to the dinner in the dark event. We both had a fantastic time and learnt so much about the difficulties that people with sight issues face on a day-to-day basis.

“We were honoured to meet Sue and spend some time with her and meet Hero! Thank you to Barratt and David Wilson Homes for the invitation.”

Centurion Village is located on Longmeanygate, and is host to a collection of three and four bedroom properties.

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Rhys Nicholson, Managing Director at Barratt Homes Manchester, said: “We are thrilled to have supported the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in raising awareness of its work and we hope everyone enjoyed the event at Centurion Village.”

Guests taking part in the Dinner in the Dark event for the Guide Dogs. Photo: Barratt and David Wilson HomesGuests taking part in the Dinner in the Dark event for the Guide Dogs. Photo: Barratt and David Wilson Homes
Guests taking part in the Dinner in the Dark event for the Guide Dogs. Photo: Barratt and David Wilson Homes

Claire Jarvis, Managing Director at David Wilson Homes North West, said: “We’re very grateful for Sue attending to discuss her experiences and give everyone a new perspective on life with a visual impairment. Events such as these are fantastic, and we hope to continue our close relationship with the Guide Dogs in the future.”

To help those living with visual impairments, it costs £34,600 to breed and train a single guide dog and a total of £54,800 to support a guide dog from birth to retirement.

To learn more about the services of the charity, visit the website at The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

For more information on Barratt and David Wilson Homes, visit Barratt Homes in Lancashire and David Wilson Homes in Lancashire.