- Post date:
- Monday, 22 May 2017
Hard work and courage celebrated in abundance at The Guide Dogs Annual Awards ceremony in London last week.
All eyes were on the prize as the first award presented at the Guide Dogs Annual Awards 2017 was chosen by viewers of ITV This Morning. Presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield appeared on stage via a large screen as they opened a golden envelope in front of a celebrity audience to reveal that Louise Jenkins was the winner of the prestigious Inspirational Guide Dog Owner Award.
The award-winning live magazine show featured films of the three finalists, in the week prior to the awards ceremony, to recognise those who have made exceptional achievements or who have overcome significant challenges in the last year.
Fourteen years ago, Louise Jenkins was a busy mum with teenage daughters. Then, aged 40, her world was turned upside down after a spinal cord infection permanently damaged her sight, causing blindness in one eye and tunnel vision in the other. Louise, from Llandysul in Wales, says: “I realised no one else was going to change anything, it was up to me.”
Getting a guide dog was as life changing for Louise as her sight loss. She quickly returned to her independent and confident self. She retrained at university and now manages a drop-in centre for people with mental health needs. As well as working full-time she also provides home care for her husband and looks after her parents who also have complex health needs, travelling the 160-mile journey to their home by train.
Guide Dogs has worked closely with This Morning over the last couple of years as the show’s viewers have followed puppies Clover and Luna on their journey to become working guide dogs.
Commenting on the Guide Dogs Annual Awards 2017, Steve Vaid, Guide Dogs Acting Chief Executive, said: “It is always a highlight on the calendar when we get the chance to hear heart-warming stories and celebrate the incredible achievements of the people we support and those who help support out charity’s life-changing work. Whether it’s getting out to meet friends, fulfilling career ambitions or helping others, Guide Dogs make sure there is enough support so that no one is left out of life because of their sight loss.”
The full list of winners is below:
Inspirational Guide Dog Owner Award, as chosen by This Morning viewers
Presented to Louise Jenkins
My Guide Partnership Award
Awarded to Hollie Pemberton and David Oliver
Beyond the Call of Duty Award
Won by Dianne Woodford and guide dog Darcy.
Life Changing Partnership Award, sponsored by Specsavers
Presented by Dame Mary Perkins, co-founder of Specsavers, to Kimberley Burrows and guide dog Tami.
Awarded to Blackpool Transport.
Breaking Down Barriers Award
Won by Karl Lloyd, Liverpool City Council.
Young Persons Achievement Award
Won by Lucy Edwards
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