Disabled Doncaster woman Angela Cooke has been awarded Client Fundraiser of the Year award by Support Dogs.

Angela, who has a number of health issues caused by diabetic complications and hypermobility, relies on her support dog Freya to enable her to lead an independent life.

But although she struggles to walk and often needs a wheelchair to get out and about, with the help of family and friends Angela managed to complete 28 miles of the Taff Trail in South Wales earlier this year, raising almost £400 for the charity that has transformed her life.

“My health is getting worse and worse and as it’s the 25th anniversary of Support Dogs this year I wanted to do something special,” explains Angela, who is Welsh. “The Taff Trail runs for about 50 miles and I knew I couldn’t manage all that so I thought I’d start as near to my old home as possible.”

Supported by husband Peter, son Daniel and carer Angie, Angela started the trail at Merthyr Tydfil walking and being wheeled for 28 miles in just four days – a massive achievement for someone with her limited mobility.

“I’d never managed to raise a decent amount for Support Dogs before although I’d done coffee mornings and table top sales, but never a major challenge – so this was it! I had a real sense of achievement,” says Angela. “Freya and I had a great time. I’m still buzzing although I still haven’t recovered from it.”

Yellow Labrador Freya is her second disability assistance dog from Support Dogs, giving her confidence and independence, and helping with everyday tasks and activities.

As well as being a long-time client of Support Dogs, Angela is also devoted to the charity, and currently has her hair dyed the same blue as the dogs’ jackets in a bid to raise awareness.

Fundraising manager for Support Dogs Danny Anderson said: “We’re really grateful to Angela for her fantastic fundraising efforts on our behalf. She knows better than most the difference our dogs can make, enabling them to live more fulfilled, independent lives.”

Angela was presented with her Client Fundraiser of the Year award at the Support Dogs’ annual Graduation and Awards ceremony in Sheffield.

November 2017