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Warwickshire guide dog is immortalised by Royal Mail

A set of Royal Mail stamps have gone on sale featuring Warwick the guide dog, who was trained thanks to the recycling efforts of the people of Warwickshire.

Warwick the guide dog is now with his new owner after 18 months of training, and features in the set of stamps paying tribute to working dogs.

This is the first time a special set of stamps has been devoted entirely to working dogs. It will also help to mark the launch of Year of the Assistance Dog, run in collaboration by the five members of Assistance Dogs UK: Guide Dogs, Canine Partners, Dogs for the Disabled, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and Support Dogs.

The 78 pence stamp features Warwick the guide dog, using his skills to provide mobility for his visually impaired owner.

It was thanks to work in Warwickshire to recycle old mobile phones and printer cartridges that The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association funded the training of Warwick.

Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment, Cllr Martin Heatley, said: “This is great news to see ‘our’ Warwick immortalised on a stamp. Guide Dogs are a very worthwhile local charity helping to improve the quality of life of people who are partially sight or blind. The charity is not centrally funded and therefore needs to raise funds to keep up its work. Anyone who has an old mobile phone or used printer cartridge can help Guide Dogs continue to make a difference.”

Alan Brooks, chairman of Assistance Dogs UK, said: “We are delighted that Royal Mail has produced this beautiful collection of stamps and hope that it will help to raise awareness of the impact that guide and other assistance dogs have on the lives of disabled people.”

During 2008, members of Assistance Dogs UK will be holding a range of activities to highlight the role of guide and other assistance dogs, campaigning for consistent access to services and awareness of the Disability Discrimination Act.  More information is available at http://www.assistancedogs.org.uk

The collection of stamps will be on sale until 28 February in local post offices.