Hundreds of people descended upon St Mary Abbotts Church in Kensington, London, on Thursday 15 December to join a thoroughly festive carol service to raise vital funds. In its fifth year, the Draycott Carol Service is organised by Angela Hamlin, founder and managing director of Draycott Nursing & Care which is a long-standing supporter of ours.
Special guests included HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO, writer and entertainer Pam Ayres MBE, presenter Valerie Singleton, actors Tim McMullan and Jack Fox, as well as Rula Lenska – all of whom thoroughly enjoyed meeting our dogs!
The service featured readings from some of the celebrities, as well as music performed by the incredibly talented choristers from Thomas’s Fulham school choir. What’s more, we had a team of 14 amazing dogs demonstrating the life-changing skills they have been taught to help our partners.
Some of the demo dog team also mucked in throughout the service by giving scrolls to the speakers and collecting donations from generous donors.
Also in attendance at the event were partnerships Natalie Preston and Faye, as well as Jo Hill and Derby.
Natalie, 27, who has celebral palsy and mobility problems said: “I thought the service was lovely. I liked everything about it especially seeing the demonstration dogs giving scrolls to the speakers. It was a great way to bring in Christmas and it made me proud to be a part of Canine Partners. I want to thank everyone who supported Canine Partners at the carol service so that even more people can have amazing dogs like Faye.”
Actor Jack Fox, a member of the Fox family dynasty, added: “When you see dogs that enjoy what they’re doing alongside owners who need and enjoy them just as much it breaks your heart – and not in an ex-girlfriend way, in a good way. There are going to be a lot of people I talk to about Canine Partners – 99 per cent of the reasons are because the dogs are so great, and one per cent, because I want them.”
The event helped to raise over £10,000 which will go towards training more amazing assistance dogs to transform the lives of disabled people. You can view a selection of the photos from the event below.
A huge thank you to everyone involved and we look forward to 2017’s service!