St Albans students meet guide dogs to learn about living with sight loss

PUBLISHED: 20:00 24 May 2018

Kate Vallory with her guide dog Becket and a representative from Guide Dogs UK.

Kate Vallory with her guide dog Becket and a representative from Guide Dogs UK.


Students at Oaklands College’s St Albans Campus got to experience what life is like with a visual impairment at a guide dog information day.

The college’s enrichment teamed up with Guide Dogs UK to invite students and staff to learn about people living with sight loss and the work guide dogs do to support them. The event was led by enrichment officer Kate Vallory, who created a similar event last year after student’s showed interest in her guide dog Becket and her own experience of sight loss.

Activities included guide dog demonstrations, and blindfolded cane walking and taste tests, showing students how visual impairments can affect simple everyday tasks.

Head of student services Gayle Brown said: ““Over 200 students took part in the sessions – each one leaving more informed, aware and considerate to those with sight loss around college and the wider community.”

Fundraising and donations on the day raised more than £200 for Guide Dogs UK.

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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