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Royal visit for Dogs for the Disabled

As part of Dogs for the Disabled fifteenth birthday celebrations the Banbury-based charity will be welcomed The Princess Royal to their training centre last Tuesday.

Dogs for the Disabled was set up by Frances Hay in 1988. Disabled herself Frances trained her own dog to help with practical tasks to help keep her independent.

To date, the charity has trained over 250 dogs to help disabled people with tasks such as helping them to dress and undress, turning on light and alarm switches, opening doors and even emptying the washing machine.

As part of her visit The Princess Royal will be meeting staff, volunteers and clients at the centre. Peter Gorbing, chief executive at the charity explained what she would see during her visit: "We are keen that the Princess should be able to see as many aspects of the charity's work as possible. She will be able to meet many of the puppies and dogs in training at the centre, and see some demonstrations of the tasks a dog can do."

The Princess will also have an opportunity to meet several of the partnerships whose lives have been so changed by charity.

Dick Tomsett of Northampton was partnered with his dog over two years ago and will be there to welcome the royal visitor next week. He says that their relationship is like 'bread to butter'. "I had come to a stage in my life where I hardly went out of the house, now you are lucky if you catch me in. Wherever I go I know that Pippa will be able to help me, she does one hundred and one things for me. One day she picked up my wallet while out shopping and I hadn't noticed I'd even dropped it, but she had. She picked it up for me and looked after it till I needed it. I know I can trust her to be there for me 100%."

This will be the first visit made by a member of the Royal family to the Dogs for the Disabled centre in Banbury and staff and supporters of the charity will be proud to illustrate their work.