Guide Dogs People Awards 2019

The 2019 People Awards, held on November 14th, received more nominations than ever before! Celebrating the incredible achievements of our staff, volunteers and guide dog owners for their outstanding contributions, the event was hosted by BBC wildlife presenter Lindsey Chapman… you would struggle to find a more enjoyable or inspiring event.

Guests listened avidly to Sean Dilley – broadcaster, guide dog owner and volunteer – as well as video appearances from celebrities Ricky Gervais, Steve Backshaw and Ainsley Harriot. Actress, Sophie Thompson also attended as a guest and volunteer, and co-presented the My Sighted Guide Partnership of the Year award with Sam Fox.

Megan and Rowley 

Overall Winner

Everything changed for Megan when Rowley came into her life last summer. Megan has multiple disabilities and health issues, including a condition which causes her to faint unexpectedly. Rowley is the first ever Dual-Purpose Assistance Dog trained by Guide Dogs in partnership with Dog A.I.D (Assistance in Disability). It means alongside Rowley’s guiding duties, he’s able to help Megan with a number of additional tasks. 

Megan has trained Rowley how to detect minute changes which occur in her body prior to losing consciousness, meaning that he is now able to provide a 4 to 7-minute warning of an oncoming fainting attack. In less than six months, Rowley has alerted Megan over 200 times.

All our winners

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!

Staff awards

Winner: John Garrett and Penny Hefferan Each
Runners Up: Claire Genis and Jess Jarvis

Winner: Katie Roberts and Caroline Abraham
Runners Up: Sunita Asal-Chander and Branwen Jones

Winner: Rebecca Harper
Runners Up: Nicola Merrilees and Dorothy Miller

Winner: Helen Sismore
Runners Up: Emma Brown and Robert Coop

Winner: Walk Your Socks Off Team
Runners Up: Vanessa Best (no other runner up)

Unsung Hero
Winner: Forfar Friday Contributors
Runners Up: Daniel Lewis/Charlotte James and Helen Sismore/Sarah Meadows

Overall Staff Member of the Year
Winner: Katie Roberts and Caroline Abraham

Volunteer awards

Winner: Sue Osorio
Runners-up: Marion Fentiman and Monica Cave

Winner: Carolyn Allum
Runners-up: Fiona Byers and Helen Duffy

Winner: James Watt
Runners-up: Janet Pulham and Maria Roberts.

Winner: Alex Pepper
Runners-up: Geraint Morgan and Chris Towers

Winner: Volunteer Drivers (North West Regional Centre)
Runners-up: Oxford Meet the Guide Dogs Sub Branch and Ceredigion group

Young Volunteer
Winner: Isabella Hadden
Runners-up:  George Upfield and Olivia Coman

Overall Volunteer of the Year
Winner: Carolyn Allum

Service user awards

Inspirational Person of the Year
Winner: Angharad Megan Paget Jones
Runners Up: Kevin Beesting and Spencer and Daniel Williams and Zodiac

Guide Dog of the Year
Winner: Megan Taylor and Rowley
Runners Up: Sarah Marshall and guide dog Willow and Tony Burton with Gaynor

My Sighted Guide Partnership of the Year
Winner: Rik Jones and Louise Johnston each
Runners up: Lisa Shand and Mavis Tyas

Inspirational Young Person of the Year
Winner: Theo Harvey
Runners Up: Corey Allenby and Amy Bishop

Overall Service User of the Year
Winner: Megan Taylor