A couple were delighted and overwhelmed to win an inaugural award given by a charity close to their heart.
Denise and John Taylor, from South Witham, help a number of dog assistance charities including Medical Detection Dogs, which trains dogs to detect the odour of illness.
The couple recently attended the charity’s summer party at Stowe School in Northamptonshire, where they were given a Tiffin Award.
The awards are named after one of Dr Claire Guest’s dogs, which sadly died. Dr Guest is the founder and CEO of the charity and felt that dedicating an award to go to special volunteers who had gone the extra mile for the charity would be an apt way of honouring Tiffin’s memory. The award was made on behalf of The Duchess of Cornwall - a patron of the charity.
The couple, affectionately known as Team Taylor, received their award during the graduation ceremony for medical alert dogs.
The couple have raised enough money to train two puppies for the charity and hope to raise enough for a third before they retire at the end of the year.
Dr Guest gave the award to Team Taylor in recognition of their “outstanding contribution” to the charity.
Denise said: “We were sat listening to Claire and I thought perhaps she was referring to some other couple, then the photo taken of us at last year’s Summer Fair came up on the big screen, and I must admit I felt rather emotional.
“John and I love representing this amazing charity, and it is wonderful to see it going from strength to strength. If we have helped in some small way to raise awareness and funds for the charity, we have been very proud to do so.
“We are retiring at the end of this year, so receiving this award is very special indeed to us both.”
As well as Medical Detection Dogs, Denise and John have also helped Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and Canine Partners.