Just the ticket for assistance dogs charity
A Birmingham woman whose life has been transformed by a ‘blonde bombshell’ assistance dog is on a mission to spread the word about the charity she credits with saving her.
Jenny Timms from Kings Norton was paired up with golden retriever Bliss by charity Canine Partners after being confined to a wheelchair when complications following an operation on her back left her with chronic pain syndrome, suffering seizures and unable to walk.
To help spread the word, Jenny and Bliss were this week part of a fundraising team invited to Birmingham Coach Station to raise vital funds for the charity, which provides life-changing animals for people with disabilities.
Here, the team were surprised by Duty Manager Sarah Sheppard, who was on-hand to reveal National Express customers have raised an amazing £10,000 for the charity.
Travellers have reached the major milestone after the UK’s largest coach company included the option to donate £1 to Canine Partners when booking a ticket online as part of its support for the charity. The move – part of a wider partnership which also includes free travel for people training assistance puppies, to familiarise them with public transport – forms a key element of National Express’ ‘Military Promise’ – a commitment to support people in the Armed Forces.
Since being teamed with Bliss in 2012 Jenny has seen her life transformed, with the dog supporting her with tasks from morning to night ranging from getting dressed to helping with the shopping and even fetching the TV remote.
She explains how her partnership with Bliss has revolutionised her life.
She said: “Before I had Bliss I was confined to a wheelchair and needed the support of a full-time carer, then, by chance one day I heard of a charity called Canine Partners and after getting in touch was eventually partnered with Bliss. Bliss is a little blonde bombshell - she has completely changed my life and given me my independence back. Even after two years being with her, I am amazed at how she keeps developing her skills to support me, I swear she would make me a cup of tea if she could. My condition stole my life, but Bliss has given it back and opened up a new journey for me, giving me the confidence to go out and enjoy life, and not to let it pass me by anymore. I want to let other people in the Midlands know there is support out there.”
Jenny also thanked deep-pocketed coach travellers for their generosity in hitting the £10,000 milestone.
She said: “The money that National Express customers have raised will dramatically change the lives of a number of people. People don’t realise how far what seems like a small donation goes in changing lives for the better and I would like to say a massive thank you to each and every one of you who donated.”
Sarah Sheppard added: “It’s fantastic that our customers have helped us support Canine Partners with this really generous donation and we are so pleased that it will go towards supporting people who need it the most. We’re really proud of our Military Promise and our partnership with Canine Partners, which supports a whole range of people from different backgrounds, including people who have been injured in service. Welcoming the team to the station was a real crowd-pleaser and we look forward to having them back soon.”
Pictured above: Jenny Timms and Bliss with National Express Duty Manager Sarah Sheppard