Norfolk vicar honoured at guide dog awards
Norfolk church minister, the Rev Canon Simon Stokes, vicar of Sprowston has been honoured in the Inspirational Guide Dog Owner of the Year competition run by the Daily Mail.
The Guide Dogs Annual Awards
celebrates the incredible achievements of guide dog owners and Simon was a short-listed finalist in the Inspirational Guide Dog Owner of the Year category.
Despite being registered blind since the age of 24, Simon achievements have included missionary work in Nepal, Namibia
being a vicar of three different parishes and a member of the General Synod
He is also a Watch Leader for the Jubilee Sailing Trust
(which enables people with disabilities to sail), jumped out of a plane and run three marathons for charity. In 2012, he was chosen to run a leg of the Olympic Torch
relay in Norwich city centre.
Simon, aged 52, was partnered by his third guide dog, Hope. He told the Daily Mail:
“She is smaller than my previous dog Jamie, but she's so intelligent, and she adapts very quickly to new situations.”
Hope gives Simon the confidence to go anywhere he needs without having to rely on anyone: “Having a guide dog breaks down barriers in so many ways,” said Simon.” Everyone, from school children to the elderly, knows and loves Hope, she's a real part of the local community.”
The awards were presented at a special event at the Hilton Park Lane Hotel in London in front of 450 guests earlier this month.
You can read more about Simon and the Awards at DailyMail.co.uk
Pictured above is Simon Stokes with his guide dog Hope, picture courtesy of the Daily Mail, and top, Simon taking part in the Olympic Torch relay in Norwich in 2012.
Do you appreciate our service and stories?
The Network Norwich & Norfolk website has been published for over 13 years now and we have an established team of professional journalists covering the activities, organisations and churches which make up the county’s Christian community. Our whole purpose is to support that community by daily providing accurate, unbiased stories and features.
To pay for that service, we rely on our partner organisations, advertisers and readers to, in turn, support us financially. We want to keep the website free for everyone to access and continue to be able to pay for writers to produce the content you can enjoy every day.
We would like to ask you to consider supporting our work and suggest you might want to make a small regular donation of just £1 a week and become one of our 100 Friends, or a larger one-off or annual amount.
Because we are part of a registered charity we can reclaim Gift Aid on your donations if you are a tax-payer.