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Guide Dog Owners Recognised in New Years Honours List 2015

31 Dec 2014

Guide Dogs were delighted to hear that David Chaffey and Susan Hopkins, both guide dog owners, have been recognised in the New Years Honours list 2015.

David ChaffeyDavid, 31, is a guide dog owner from Gwent in Wales, and will receive a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his services to the NHS, and voluntary and charitable services. David has been partially sighted since the age of seven. As Service User Representative, David has played a key role in Guide Dogs, acting as an ambassador and supporting the needs of fellow guide dog owners in Wales. Not only this but he has also undertaken voluntary and/or fundraising work for the Witness Service, the Vision Foundation, Gwent Victim Support, Wales Council for the Blind, the Royal National Institute for the Blind, North Gwent Cardiac Rehabilitation, Gwent Association for the Blind, the transplant team at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, and the Salvation Army.

Susan Hopkins, 57, is a guide dog owner from London. Susan lost her sight after a brain aneurism in 2010. Since then she has been paired with guide dog Petra and through her work with the Department of Work and Pensions she has gone on to help a huge amount of people, working at food parcel collections, helping the homeless, the elderly, and individuals with autism, to name but a few. Susan will be honored for her hard work with a Member of the British Empire (MBE) award for services to Customers and Charitable services. 

She said: "It was a huge shock for someone like me, but I am absolutely over the moon. Without Guide Dogs, I wouldn’t be where I am today. My guide dog Petra means the world to me, she’s been completely life-changing."

Richard Leaman, Chief Executive at Guide Dogs said: "We are incredibly proud of David and Susan for their fantastic achievements. With guide dogs by their side the pair have triumphed against adversity in their personal lives and helped others to overcome challenges in their own. They have done so much for so many people and are very deserving of their awards."