Guiding the way
The Mosslands School is the first in the UK to team up with the national charity, to bring a Guide Dog puppy into school as part of its early development
Article from the Wirral Globe
A Wirral school is taking part in a pioneering puppy training programme with the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.
The Mosslands School in Wallasey is the first in the UK to team up with the national charity, to bring a Guide Dog puppy into school as part of its early development.
Three month old Petal, a Labrador/Retriever cross, will spend her first year at The Mosslands with puppy trainer and Faraday House office manager Chris Kemp.
She will then be matched with a blind or partially sighted person, becoming their guide and a crucial link with the outside world.
Headteacher Mark Rodaway said: “This is a ground breaking project, and we believe it is the first of its kind nationally.
“Mrs Kemp will be responsible for the day to day supervision of Petal and her instructional needs. She will live with Mrs Kemp, but attend school on a daily basis, staying within the Faraday House Office in a specially adapted dog crate.
"It’s great to have a puppy in the school but we have to remember that this is training for Petal. Although this is the first time this has ever been done, we think that a school is a perfect training environment as it is very busy, noisy and active, reflecting the kind of public or high street setting Petal could eventually find herself in.
"There will be the opportunity for pupils to become involved with the pup, under strict supervision and careful hygiene, and we hope that this may lead to an accredited qualification for boys who are keen to understand and contribute to the Guide Dogs for the Blind’s community work.”
Guide Dogs’ Puppy Walking Manager Sue Richardson said: “We have only recently started placing pups in training in workplaces and with this October being the 80th anniversary of the first guide dog partnerships in Wallasey in 1931, it’s a wonderful opportunity to build on our history in the town.”
Prospective students and parents can come along to meet Petal at the school’s open evening this Wednesday (September 28) from 7pm.