24 Jun 2022
Stagecoach South East welcomed Guide Dogs UK and their puppies to Bank Street in Ashford last week as part of their training to become guide dogs.
The Labradors and Golden Retrievers were greeted with cuddles from staff who had the opportunity to speak with the dog’s trainers and learn more about the importance of guide dogs knowing how to use public transport.
Earlier this month, the bus company invited the service animal charity to their Ashford depot to take the puppies and their trainers for a drive around the town, allowing them to become familiar with the sound of the engine, stop bell and honk of the horn.
In addition to the two visits to Ashford, Stagecoach has extended its commitment to supporting the training of guide dogs by providing free access to local buses for Guide Dog UK instructors when travelling with their trainee pups to ensure they gain as much experience on public transport as possible.
Louise Sills, operations manager for the bus company’s Ashford depot, hopes the initiative will give the future owners of the dogs assurance that they can use buses stress free.
Photo: Stagecoach Operations Manager, Louise Sills with Guide Dogs UK in Ashford on Wednesday.
“Through our work with Guide Dogs UK we want to assure those with sight loss that they can feel confident when travelling on our buses.
“We are here to serve everyone in our community, whatever support they may require.”