Skip to content

A 'Starr' Was Born

17 days ago Wed 3rd Oct 2018

Saturday 6 October sees the start of Guide Dog Week, a week dedicated to raising awareness and help for the wonderful Guide Dogs charity.

In 2016 the teams here at Blackpool Transport chose to support Guide Dogs for The Blind as the yearly company charity. The aim was simple, we wanted to raise enough money to sponsor a puppy so that they could be trained as a working guide dog. If we managed to raise enough, we were also able to name the sponsored puppy.

During the year we worked closely with the Guide Dogs charity who even attended training sessions with our staff, teaching them of the obstacles and challenges those with a visual impairment face using public transport.

Sally and Yoko

(Pictured - Sally and Yoko the Guide Dog)

We managed to raise the funds needed for our guide dog puppy and ‘Starr’ began her journey to become a fully trained guide dog.

Starr started her training in 2017 and her puppy training came to an end in March this year. During her puppy training she showed a nose for exploring and spent time with her ‘puppy walker’ to learn the ropes and develop the concentration required to be an assistance dog. These were skills that Starr took on board very well, even reigning in her ‘soft spot’ for pigeons!

Following her puppy training Starr then graduated to attend one of the Guide Dogs National Training Centres. Guide Dogs usually spend around 16 weeks with a guide dog trainer, learning the foundation tasks required of a guide dog. They then transfer to a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor for about 10 weeks during which time they are matched with a person with sight loss.

Starr

Every person and dog is unique, so matching a guide dog to an owner is a complex and carefully managed process, guide dog trainers take into account a persons needs – walking speed, height and lifestyle – and look for a dog that will be a good match.

The total cost involved with breeding, training a guide dog partnership is £44,000 and they cannot do it without the help of volunteers and people's generosity.  

We’re happy to say that in our latest update we've been told our very own Starr is now a fully trained guide dog and is now helping somebody with a visual impairment enjoy life with freedom and independence. Well done Starr!

Latest News
Winter Bus and Tram Timetables
11 days ago Tue 9th Oct 2018
On Sunday 04 November our services will be changing to their Winter times. There will also be a change to some of our bus routes.
Blackpool Trams Win Team of the Year Award
15 days ago Fri 5th Oct 2018
Blackpool Transports Tram Engineering team have been named as joint winners of the Team of the Year award at the Global Light Rail Awards.
A Breath Of Fresh Air
17 days ago Wed 3rd Oct 2018
We're trialling Air Fresheners on board some of our buses and we want your feedback.
**Update** Service Diversions during the Illuminations
40 days ago Mon 10th Sep 2018
Travelling on services 5, 6, 7, 11 or 17 during Fridays and Saturdays during the Illuminations? Read below to see how your services are affected.