Meet the finalists of this year’s Guide Dogs Annual Awards, in partnership with Royal Canin

Inspirational Guide Dog Owner 2015

Guide Dog of the Year – Beyond the Call of Duty 2015

Guide Dog of the Year – Life Changing 2015

My Guide Partnership Award 2015

Young Persons Achievement Award 2015, in association with Blind Children UK

Collaboration of the Year Award 2015

Breaking Down Barriers Award 2015



Inspirational Guide Dog Owner 2015

Paul Matheson and NalaPaul Matheson
Paul Matheson has blazed a trail for others with sight loss by becoming the very first qualified Assistant Football Association (FA) coach in the UK with no sight. The 51-year-old now volunteers his time with the Newcastle United Foundation's football teams for adults and children who are blind or partially sighted, and he also coaches school teams.

Elaine Mackenzie And UnaElaine MacKenzie and Una
Elaine MacKenzie is so dedicated to Guide Dogs, she turned the horror of an attack on Una into a way to help the charity by bravely sharing the experience in support of Guide Dogs’ dog attacks campaign. It's just one of the ways the retired civil servant has helped the charity in her 16 years as a tireless volunteer.

Libby Clegg and Hatti
Libby Clegg
Libby Clegg has never let her sight loss stop her from achieving her dream of becoming a world-class sprinter. She is one of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s most successful Paralympians, and has won gold at the World and European Championships, and at the Commonwealth Games. Libby and guide dog Hatti are also Guide Dogs ambassadors.



Guide Dog of the Year – Beyond the Call of Duty 2015

Susan Jones and PelhamSusan Pelhamjb
Guide dog Pelham proved a life-saver for his owner, Susan Jones. The brave labrador/retriever cross put himself between Susan and a busy road, preventing her from stepping out in front of a lorry by jumping up and down and pushing her back from the kerb.

Nicky Askew and Tillie
Golden Labrador/retriever cross, Tillie, saved her entire family from a fire that had started in their home while they were upstairs getting ready for bed. Tillie was so quick to react that she alerted the family even before their fire alarm detected a hint of trouble.

Angela Oscar Angela Millgate and Oscar
When Angela Millgate lost her husband and mother to cancer within four weeks of each other, there was someone she could rely on to stay by her side. Oscar cared for Angela, guiding her down confusing hospital corridors and becoming a permanent source of comfort.



Guide Dog of the Year – Life Changing 2015

Lynette Proctor and PippaLynette
At just 21, Lynette Proctor’s sight loss left her completely isolated. She had depression and panic attacks, and relied on her parents to go to hospital appointments and counselling sessions. Pippa has given Lynette the freedom and independence to go back to college, get a full-time job, and do dare devil fundraising feats for the charity Guide Dogs.

Margaret Clarke and Marston
Margaret Clarke
Five years ago, Margaret Clarke felt cut off from her friends, family and local community. She was a carer for her late husband, Ian, and her closest friend, her sister, lived in Australia. Today, with Marston by her side, Margaret is an active Guide Dogs fundraiser and speaker, and is raising £5,000 to name a puppy in Ian’s memory.




Nicky Askew and Tillie

As well as saving her family from a house fire, Nicky credits Tillie with helping her lose nearly four stone in weight. When Nicky tried to leave before her first Slimming World class started, Tillie led her right back inside. Nicky said: “Tillie was the spark that lit my fuse and from there my life burst into light, colour and beauty.”


My Guide Partnership Award 2015

Chris Gilroy and Abbie McMurray
Chris’ life was transformed after Abbie became his My Guide partner in April 2015. Abbie has helped Chris to regain his confidence so he can get back out into his community. Chris, who had to have his voice box removed due to cancer, says that despite their 50-year age gap, it proves “just what a special person Abbie is”.

Kerry Singleton and Louise Shannon Kerry And Louise
Louise, a running coach, got Kerry running again after she was left heartbroken because she was forced to give up her long-standing hobby due to her sight loss. Kerry was also left feeling isolated and unable to go out into the community, but Louise has brought back the confidence she had previously lost.


Nathan Edge and Pete Jones-Hall
Nathan and Pete were one of the first guide running partnerships made through Guide Dogs’ My Guide sighted guiding service. But little did Nathan know that his ambition to take on the challenge of the London Marathon and raise money for Guide Dogs would lead to a beautiful friendship with his guide runner, Pete.


Young Persons Achievement Award 2015, in association with Blind Children UK

Tiri HughesTiri Hughes
This year, inspirational Tiri has represented her country with the GB Women's Disability Gymnastics Squad, and achieved 11 GCSEs. But as soon as her exams were over, she resumed her voluntary work helping her mum Laura run Moorvision, a support group for families of children with sight loss in Devon and the south west.

abella King
Music-mad Isabella learned to play the keyboard, then a full-sized electric piano, at the age of seven, and has since won numerous prizes and acclaim for her playing. Her talent has even been noticed by Jools Holland, who invited her to meet and jam with him when he played in Skegness last summer.

Fadzie KarimaFadzie Karima
Fadzie is a beacon of positivity who thrives on taking on responsibilities and helping others. Her can-do attitude has seen her win awards for educational achievement, and made a role model for young children with sight loss facing the daunting prospect of going to mainstream secondary school.




Collaboration of the Year Award 2015

The Conservation Volunteers ScotlandTcv2
The fantastic benefits of discovering the delights of nature have been opened up to people with sight loss thanks to The Conservation Volunteers’ (TCV) work in Scotland with their local Guide Dogs team. TCV Scotland organised practical sessions for the people whom Guide Dogs supports, such as a night walk to find bats and conservation work.

Chief Inspector Nathan Clark, Norfolk Police

Nathan was the driving force behind revolutionising the way his officers handle reports of dogs attacking guide dogs. When Nathan learned about the issues guide dog owners were having when reporting dog attacks to his officers, he immediately put an action plan in place so all officers are aware of just how devastating attacks on guide dogs are.

Merseyside PoliceSteve Champ
In 2014, attacks on guide dogs were a growing problem in Merseyside, until Merseyside Police stepped in. They worked with the charity Guide Dogs to raise public awareness of the issue, and took steps that mean guide dog owners get the right support when they report an attack.


Breaking Down Barriers

Mary Rasmussen and her guide dog, NelsonMary Rasmussen
When Mary was nearly hit by a lorry in Aberdeen city centre because the council had changed the road layout, she knew she had to do something to make sure that others with sight loss could be safe. It’s just one of the many selfless ways the grandmother-of-11 has gone out of her way to break down barriers for people with sight loss.



Elaine Orwin and her guide dog, Chaz
Elaine is so determined to break down barriers for others with sight loss that not even a stroke has stopped her from dedicating her time to Guide Dogs. Elaine credits her guide dog, Chaz, with being a “shining light through the darkness” who brought her “back out into the world” again so she could resume her volunteer work.

Danny Gleeson and his guide dog, DylanDanny Gleeson And Dylan
Danny’s guide dog, Dylan, made history as the very first guide dog ever to visit Barbados. The pair spread the word about how dogs can change people’s lives as part of a public awareness campaign, and played a pivotal part in paving the way for assistance dogs schemes on the island in the future.


Gdaa Logo 2015

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

London Hilton on Park Lane, 22 Park Lane, London, W1K 1BE.