Guide dog puppies-in-training meet at Northampton Guildhall to celebrate £60,000 fundraising landmark

Councillor Christopher Malpas, centre, raised a record-breaking 61,000 for the Guide Dogs Association through his mayor's fund.
Councillor Christopher Malpas, centre, raised a record-breaking 61,000 for the Guide Dogs Association through his mayor's fund.
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Six trainee guide dogs met at the Northampton Guildhall yesterday to mark a record-breaking fundraising effort.

Last year, the then-Mayor of Northampton Christopher Malpas raised over £61,000 as part of his mayor's fund, the highest total in living memory.

Councillor Malpas, who is registered blind, donated the fund to his chosen charity Guide Dogs for the Blind, and was given the honour of naming six puppies-in-training for his achievements.

The dogs - Toby, Charity, Spencer, Tilly, Verity II and Chloe - along with their walkers met at the Guildhall yesterday (February 15) to mark the accomplishment.

Councillor Malpas said: "It's been phenomenal. I'm really pleased with the amount we've raised and I'm so grateful to everyone who helped.

"The whole Guide Dogs Association branch for Northampton came together to make this happen and without them we wouldn't have done it."

The Mayor of Northampton's Chloe Nelson with Chloe, a guide dog puppy-in-training named in her honour.

The Mayor of Northampton's Chloe Nelson with Chloe, a guide dog puppy-in-training named in her honour.

Fundraisers who donated £5,000 or more to the Guide Dogs Association are given the right to name a puppy-in-training.

Some £38,000 of the fund came from the former-Northampton Working Men's Blind Association, who disbanded last year and donated the huge sum as a farewell gift.

Chris said: "I'm especially grateful to them for their massive donation. It comes with mixed feelings, as I was a part of the group and I'm very sad to see the club go."

Other fundraising highlights included an auction at Duston Parish Hall, hosted by Bargain Hunt's Charles Hanson, and sponsored abseiling down the National Lift Tower.

Members of the former Northampton Working Men's Blind Association with Charity, a guide dog puppy-in-training they named after their 38,000 donation.

Members of the former Northampton Working Men's Blind Association with Charity, a guide dog puppy-in-training they named after their 38,000 donation.

Puppy walker for the Guide Dog Association Lucy Dickenson-Lawson said: "Guide dogs massively change the lives of blind people. Some would otherwise not have the confidence to go outside and a dog can give them that confidence.

"We just want to say a massive thank you to Chris for all he's done."