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Winners named in the Guide Dogs Annual Awards 2015. Celebrating the life-changing work of the charity

10 Dec 2015

Elaine Mackenzie was named this year’s Inspirational Guide Dog Owner in the Guide Dogs Annual Awards 2015.

Lindsey Russell With Iggy Elaine Mackenzie With Una Jakub Kolesa Dave SpikeyThe 63-year-old, from Edinburgh, is so dedicated to Guide Dogs, she turned the horror of an attack on her beloved guide dog, Una, into a way to help the charity. She bravely shared the terrifying experience with politicians and the media. Elaine was recognised for campaigning to make the streets safer for people living with sight loss and for tirelessly volunteering for the charity for sixteen years.

The Guide Dogs Annual Awards ceremony took place at the London Hilton on Park Lane on 9 December 2015, in partnership with Royal Canin.

Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell and Jakub Kolesa, General Manager at Royal Canin, presented Elaine with her award. Stars who graced the red carpet included designer and star of TOWIE, Lydia Bright, television and radio presenter Vogue Williams, Formula One presenter Natalie Pinkham and comedian, writer and presenter, Dave Spikey.

The Guide Dogs Annual Awards celebrates the work of the charity Guide Dogs and honours the passion and determination of everyone who makes its life-changing work possible.

Commenting on the Guide Dogs Annual Awards 2015, Chief Executive Richard Leaman said:

“As a charity our work has never been so vital. There are almost two million people in the UK living with sight loss and this is set to double by 2050. This year’s winners are truly inspirational and demonstrate that with the right support, people living with sight loss can achieve their dreams, big and small.”

Comedian, writer and presenter David Spikey added:

“Tonight I have been moved and inspired by the amazing Guide Dogs Annual Awards finalists. It has been an honour to share this celebration with the award finalists and is a testament to the life-changing work of the charity, Guide Dogs.”

The full list of winners is below:

Inspirational Guide Dog Owner

Presented with the headline Inspirational Guide Dog Owner Award, Elaine MacKenzie, (aged 63, Edinburgh) turned the horror of an attack on her beloved guide dog, Una, into a way to help Guide Dogs’ dog attacks campaign by bravely sharing her experience with politicians and the media.

Guide Dog of the Year - Beyond the Call of Duty

Awarded to Tillie, the guide dog, who saved her owner, Nicky Askew (aged 45, Blackpool), and her entire family from a fire that had started in their home.

Young Person's Achievement Award, in association with Blind Children UK

Won by Tiri Hughes (aged 17, Ivybridge, Devon), who refused to let her sight loss stand in the way of her ambitions to represent her country at gymnastics and became an A* student.

Breaking Down Barriers Award

Awarded to Mary Rasmussen, (aged 73, Aberdeen). Mary was nearly hit by a lorry in Aberdeen city centre because the council had changed the road layout. Shocked by her ordeal, Mary and her guide dog, Nelson, invited a local councillor to experience the dangers for herself in a blindfolded walk. The council soon started putting in features – such as tactile paving – to help people with sight loss avoid being in an accident.

Guide Dog of the Year – Life Changing Partnership Award

Presented to Lynette Proctor (aged 27, Wirral) whose sight loss left her completely isolated and unable to leave her home on her own until she was partnered with her guide dog Pippa.

My Guide Partnership Award

This award went to Nathan Edge, (aged 21, Mansfield), and his My Guide running partner Peter Jones-Hall, (aged 44, Nottingham). When Nathan decided to take on the challenge of running the London Marathon 2016, he soon realised that his ambition would lead to a beautiful friendship with his new guide runner.

Collaboration Award

Norfolk Police Chief Inspector Nathan Clark, (aged 44), was the driving force behind revolutionising the way his officers handle reports of dogs attacking guide dogs, a deserved winner of the Collaboration Award.

Follow the awards at #GDAA2015 and find out more about the winners at www.guidedogs.org.uk/awards.



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