Pollyanna recently undertook an amazing challenge to help raise awareness for the work of the Sheffield and District branch of Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Pollyanna donned a black out blindfold and was lead through the streets of Sheffield city centre by Guide Dog Nola, accompanied by district team manager Ben Drury for support – as well a photographer from the Star newspaper who was on hand to document her progress!
“It was the most amazing experience” Pollyanna commented “to place all of my trust in a dog to lead me through crowded pedestrian areas . and across busy roads – being able to hear the traffic all around me was quite terrifying, but Nola was incredible.”
“Although I have always appreciated the work carried out by Guide Dogs, this walk made me realise fully for the first time just what an incredible difference these dogs make to their blind and partially sighted owners in giving them a remarkable level of independence”.
“Being an artist my sight is especially precious to me – and I am delighted that I have been able to use my paintings to support Guide Dogs for the Blind for many years”.
In fact Pollyanna’s ongoing partnership with Guide Dogs is the longest she has enjoyed with any charity – she first worked for the association back in 1985 when she designed a mug produced by Dunoon ceramics to be sold through their catalogue. In 1994 the association chose one of her paintings for their first ever limited edition print. By 1998 their catalogue featured over 60 of her designs - and she continues to paint Christmas cards and giftware for them annually.
The Sheffield branch currently provides Guide Dogs for 125 clients in the area, with four instructors and a rehabilitation worker dedicated to helping people work in partnership with their dogs. Training a new client to work with a dog takes a minimum of four weeks – and in 2011 the branch expects to create 25 new partnerships.
One of Pollyanna's many Christmas Card Designs for Guide Dogs for the Blind.