Guide dog puppy Harmony sponsored by Shropshire college

Meet Harmony – a six-week-old female Labrador cross Golden Retriever. The guide dog puppy has been officially sponsored by Acton Burnell-based Concord College.

Harmony, a six week old female Labrador cross Golden Retriever
Harmony, a six week old female Labrador cross Golden Retriever

Born on November 21 2020, Harmony – named after one of Concord’s key values, as well as the very definition of the word Concord itself – has 11 siblings who will also be welcomed into the Guide Dogs training scheme.

Harmony will soon be placed with her puppy walker who will start to teach her the skills that she will need as a future guide dog.

Vanessa Hawkins, Concord’s head of marketing, said sponsoring a guide dog puppy was an idea the college had had for the past year.

Concord’s outreach team chose Guide Dogs as their main charity to support last academic year.

“Former 6.2 student Edelyne Tandanu, 18, and the college outreach committee worked tirelessly last year to raise the money to support the naming of a guide dog puppy,” Mrs Hawkins said.

“Although they have now all moved on to university, I am sure they are continuing to use their creativity, energy and enthusiasm to support those in need in the UK and around the world.”

She said Concord had hosted a number of fundraising activities, including a hugely popular dog show competition – a first for the college.

This had enabled the raising of much-needed funds for the charity as well as now sponsoring a puppy.

Thank

The college recently received Harmony’s six-week welcome pack, including her birth certificate and letter detailing Guide Dogs’ walk-learn guide programme.

A spokesperson for Guide Dogs said: “We’d like to thank Concord for being part of our Guide Dogs family and for helping us provide life-changing support to those that need it.

“We know that 2020 was a challenging year for us all and at Guide Dogs we are putting what we learnt into new ways of working and socialising in 2021.

“As a result of new measures, some puppies may spend a little longer at our breeding centre where they are cared for by dedicated members of the dog care and welfare team before heading off to their first family home.

“But this won’t affect them as they start their journey to becoming life-changing assistance dogs.”

Maria Novell, director of fundraising and marketing at Guide Dogs, said: “This is the beginning of a very exciting journey for Harmony.

“For now, she is an unco-ordinated bundle of fluff and of course adorable. But over the next few weeks and months we look forward to sharing with Concord the beginnings of her transformation into a responsible guide dog.

“Every hour, another person in the UK goes blind. When someone loses their sight, Guide Dogs is here to make sure they don’t lose their freedom as well.

“We rely on donations to continue our life-changing work. Every pound raised makes a difference to people in the UK living with sight loss, so we’d like to thank Concord College for their most generous support.”

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