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Coleraine Specsavers Par-teas for Guide Dogs NI

Specsavers in Coleraine is hosting a ‘Great Guide Dogs Tea Party’ in store on Thursday 27 April from 10am until 1pm. The event is part of a UK wide series of tea parties which will raise much needed funds to support people living with sight loss.

Specsavers staff will be joined by staff and volunteers from Guide Dogs NI as well as local guide dog owners and their canine companions. Tea, coffee and buns will be available at a pop-up tea party stall and customers are invited to donate to Guide Dogs NI. Guide Dogs NI staff will also be on hand to provide information about the range of services offered by the charity to adults and children living with sight loss and the many volunteering opportunities available across Northern Ireland.

Helping to launch the Specsavers hosted series of Great Guide Dogs Tea Parties is Gary Loughran from Swatragh and his guide dog Usher along with local singer/songwriter Malachi Cush who brought his pet Labrador Molly to the launch party. Television presenter Malachi, who shot to fame in 2002 through talent show Fame Academy, is supporting Guide Dogs NI as a ‘Tea Party’ ambassador. Also pictured is Brian O’Kane, Specsavers NI Chair.

Coleraine Store Director Judith Ball says, ‘Specsavers has worked with the charity Guide Dogs for many years and has seen at first hand the excellent support they provide to people living with sight loss. We’re pleased to support this new community initiative and our staff in Coleraine are looking forward to welcoming customers and shoppers to our store for the tea party.’

Ursula McCanny from Guide Dogs NI explained that the tea party events are all about community, tea and good fun. ‘We’re encouraging people at home, work or within their local town or community to host a Great Guide Dogs Tea Party. We’re delighted that Specsavers have taken a lead by organising parties in nine of their stores throughout Northern Ireland during April.

‘Every hour another person in the UK goes blind. When someone loses their sight, our charity is there to make sure they don’t lose their freedom as well. We rely on donations and fundraisers to continue our life-changing work.’

Launching the Guide Dog Tea Party (from left) Gary Loughran, Guide Dogs NI, singer/songwriter Malachi Cush with his pet labrador Molly and Brian O'Kane, Specsavers NI Chair.

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