Record amount raised for Guide Dogs at Dereham garden party

Dereham Guide Dog garden party. Sisters Grace, 13, and Tammy Olley, 19, with guide dog Bryony.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Dereham Guide Dog garden party. Sisters Grace, 13, and Tammy Olley, 19, with guide dog Bryony. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A garden party held in Dereham raised a record amount for the Guide Dogs.

Dereham Guide Dog garden party.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Dereham Guide Dog garden party. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The Open Garden event, hosted by Graham and Jill Darken, was opened by Hilary Bushell, mayor of Dereham, and raised £1,071.

The couple, who regularly volunteer as fundraisers for the charity, raised £800 with the events in 2016 and 2017.

Mr Darken, 70, said: 'It was a fantastic day. We had live music, a tombola, and twelve or more guide dogs.

'We raised just shy of £300 on teas and coffees alone.

Dereham Guide Dog garden party. Olivia Holt, 11, helping at the event.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Dereham Guide Dog garden party. Olivia Holt, 11, helping at the event. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant


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'We're really chuffed.'

And Mrs Darken said: 'Hilary was brilliant and it was a really good crowd.

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'We had lovely weather for it - almost not enough shade, and there was face painting for the little ones.'

The couple host the event to raise funds and educate people about the importance of guide dogs, as Mr Darken is also visually impaired.

Dereham Guide Dog garden party.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Dereham Guide Dog garden party. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

There are around 5,000 guide dog owners in the UK, and in 2016, it cost £48.9m to run the guide dog service.

Read more: 'It happened so fast' - Man tells of shock at attack on his guide dog

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