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Guide Dog hero calls it a day after 25 years

Derek Wardle is stepping down from fundraising after 25 years.
Derek Wardle is stepping down from fundraising after 25 years.

A long-serving and committed member of Bridlington’s Guide Dogs fundraising team is stepping down after 25 years.

As guide dog owner Derek Wardle said farewell he made an appeal for people in the town to come forward and help raise funds for local people who are blind or living with a visual impairment.

Mr Wardle had to take early retirement from his job in the printing trade when he was aged just 51, due to his failing eyesight.

He then contacted the local Friends of Guide Dogs group when they were having their annual street collection in Bridlington. From that chance meeting, he made an application for his first Guide Dog and never looked back.

He and his wife Irene became involved with fundraising and met lots of lovely people and raised lots of money over the years.

Derek also became a Guide Dog speaker and enjoyed going to speak to local schools and groups to help raise the awareness in the local area.

After 25 years he is ready to enjoy his ‘second retirement’.

Samantha Bradley, volunteering consultant, praised the couple’s efforts. She said: “Come rain or shine, both Derek and Irene have volunteered tirelessly over the past 25 years for Guide Dogs.

“They’re a credit to our organisation, and show how amazing our volunteers are.

“We are lucky to have such dedicated fundraisers.”

Any interested volunteers have the chance to attend an information morning on Wednesday 16 May at The Gallery at Bridlington Spa between 10.30am and 12.30pm.

Nicola Ridgway, community fundraising development officer said; “Guide Dogs want to reach more people in the Bridlington area who are living with the challenges presented by sight loss.

“To do this we need to increase our activities in your area and as little as a few hours a month would make all the difference.”