A BIG-HEARTED veterinary practice is taking its love for animals to new levels by hiking, cycling and kayaking for a canine charity.
Pontefract’s Greenwood and Brown Veterinary Clinic is sending a team of sporty staff to tackle the Guide Dog Coniston Challenge in Cumbria, which will see them cover 30km in just ten hours.
The six-strong team will cycle the 17km trail through Grizedale Forest, paddle 3km across the shores of Coniston Water, and round off the challenge by scaling 10km to the summit of Old Man Coniston, 800 feet above sea level.
Sue Hamblin, practice team leader, said her colleagues were full of “nervous anticipation” as the event on September 10 loomed closer.
She said: “A leaflet from Guide Dogs came in and I thought, ‘that’s a good idea, let’s do it’. We asked for willing victims and came up with a team.
“We’re training hard and we have been out doing some team work and I’ve been helping people with different activities. Everyone’s taking it pretty seriously.”
To take part in the challenge the team – nicknamed the Ponte Plodders – has to raise a minimum of £2,500 in sponsorship. So far, the practice has raised £400 but is appealing for donations from dog lovers everywhere.
Veterinary nurse Heather Blades, who has been training hard for the event, said: “Everyone can’t believe we’re doing it, we’ve never doing anything like this before, so people are really behind us, it’s really encouraging.
“Even companies have come to us and they’ve been really supportive with gifts for the raffle.”
“I don’t think any of us realised how much guide dogs costs, it’s frightening,” added Miss Hamblin.
“It makes you think how much money and effort goes into it, so they need as much support as they can get.”
Miss Blades said: “It’s all voluntary and done on a charity basis, but to fund a guide dog from puppy to retirement costs around £50,000. They only ask a blind person for a 50p contribution for a guide dog but it costs so much to keep them going.”
The practice will be holding a raffle in July to raise more funds. Visit www.justgiving/ponte-plodders.com to make a donation.