Aintree has become the first hospital in the region to open its doors to guide dogs in training.
The Trust has announced its new partnership with charity Guide Dogs, which will see the dogs walking the public corridors and grounds of the hospital as part of their training programme. Training at the hospital will help new guide dogs become familiar with a range of environments to prepare them for future journeys. Using public corridors means that the dogs, and their trainers, can keep up their programme in the winter without getting too wet or cold.
Steve Warburton, Aintree’s Chief Executive, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to support our local community by opening up Aintree’s site to guide dogs in training. Many of our patients are supported by guide dogs to assist them in travelling independently, and we’re delighted to be partnering with the Liverpool team to help prepare new dogs for their life-changing roles.”
Penny Anderson from the Guide Dogs Liverpool Team said: “We were delighted to have been approached by Aintree University Hospital with the idea of using their grounds and buildings as a training area for our trainee guide dogs. It is vital that our trainees are exposed to different environments and experiences to prepare them for their future roles in guiding a blind or partially sighted person. Our Knotty Ash centre is just 15 minutes away, so this will be an ideal setting for our trainers to make use of.”