Heathrow team paws for thought after walkies

Saturday 3, July 2010


Heathrow team paws for thought after walkies


A footsore and tired team were given a warm welcome back at Heathrow this week after an gruelling 810-mile walk around all six of BAA's UK airports in aid of the charity, Guide Dogs for the Blind.



The three staff members from Heathrow Terminal 3 - Mike Bowley, Lucy Saville and Ian Vince - set off from Aberdeen airport on June 8 and trudged their way between Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stansted and Southampton airports before finishing at Heathrow three weeks later.


Guide Dogs for the Blind breeds and trains dogs to provide life changing mobility and there are currently 4,500 working guide dog partnerships in the UK. The full lifetime cost of a guide dog from birth to retirement is £49,800, and the Terminal 3 trekking team hope to raise a large chunk of that money through their fundraising efforts, including a donation from the Heathrow Community Fund.


If the team reach their target, the puppy will be named VJ, after a Heathrow colleague of the walkers, Vellen Sawmawden, who originally planned to hike with the group but sadly passed away earlier this year.


Mike, a service team leader at Terminal 3, explained: "Vellen was such a positive person who helped everybody out all the time. He was very keen to take part in this event, and so all of the staff at Terminal 3 thought it would be a fantastic idea to name the new Guide Dog puppy in his honour. The walk was a huge challenge for all of us, but we've survived sunburn, blisters and pulled muscles to make it back home. We've received nothing but smiles, support and donations from throughout the country. Thanks to everyone at BAA who has supported us on what has been a brilliant journey."


Peter Emmett, head of events at Guide Dogs for the Blind added: "We're really lucky to have such an inspiring team fundraising for us. I'm sure their long journey will be an inspiration to everyone - they really went miles out of their way to help us in memory of their colleague."


To help the team smash their fundraising target, go to For more details on Guide Dogs for the Blind and fundraising events, visit




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