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Record breaking number of guide dogs help students this year
9:00am Tuesday 20th August 2013 in News
THIS year has been a record breaker for the number of guide dogs helping students at Hereford’s Royal National College for the Blind.
A total of 12 RNC students are being assisted by the dogs which provide valuable help to students getting around the college and the city.
Alongside academic and vocational courses, students also learn about mobility and independent living skills such as using public transport, cooking and cleaning.
Some students choose to use a guide dog and they arrive at the college already trained in things like road crossing.
Owners are responsible for feeding the dog, making sure it has call-of-nature breaks, and daily grooming.
"They are also expected to work the dog around college and off campus and to check their medical welfare," said Sue Bridgeland, a mobility teacher at the college.
A team of volunteers assist the guide dog users with letting the dogs off their leashes to provide exercise.
A recent addition to the RNC volunteer team is retired guide dog Grant.
He worked locally for eight years and has now retired to live with staff member Andrea Biddulph.
He will be helping out in the marketing team by welcoming potential students to the college and helping new dogs to settle in.
During the last year much of the teaching at RNC has moved from the historic College Road building to more modern facilities on Venns Lane.
The move required the dogs and students to learn new routes.
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