Guide dog puppy named in memory of late father

Guide Dogs supporter Sue Elderfield from Bradley Stoke, along with her sister Jo, and Mum, Mary, are celebrating the arrival of guide dog puppy Jimbo, named after her late father, Jim Elsworth, after they raised the £5,000 needed by Guide Dogs to put a puppy through its first year of training.

The family chose to name a puppy in memory of  Jim Elsworth, from Chipping Sodbury, who sadly passed away on New Year’s Eve last year after a short illness. The funds were generously donated by Jim’s family and friends, and many others who knew him.

Jim had taken great pleasure in raising funds for the South Gloucestershire branch of Guide Dogs, always suggesting a donation to the charity, instead of accepting any payment for his many local history talks. Jim, who was Chairman of the Sodbury History Society, was described in his local community magazine as ‘one of the most influential figures in local history in the last 50 years, and a great servant to the local community’. 

Sue said: “As well as supporting his community and his keen interest for local history, Guide Dogs was a charity that Dad also supported for many years. We felt it was fitting to continue this support and it means a great deal to all the family to able to name a puppy in his memory – it’s such a special thing to be able to do. We know Dad would be delighted to think that a puppy has been supported in this way.

“Jimbo is the name my Dad’s father used for him when he was a young boy – it was the name that all the family, including my mum, sister and his five grandchildren, agreed would be most fitting.

“The many kind donations made in his memory from friends and family have been used to continue to support the South Gloucestershire branch of Guide Dogs, and of course to help puppy Jimbo through his guide dog training. We look forward to hearing about his journey.”

The family have received a photo of puppy Jimbo at 6 weeks old as well as a birth certificate.  Over the next year, they will receive pupdates on Jimbo’s progress through training and will also get to meet the Labrador / Golden Retriever cross before he goes to guide dog training school.

Sue is also planning on running the Bristol Half Marathon to raise further funds for the charity. 

She added: “A half marathon will be a real challenge for me as I’m not a runner! I wanted to do something to continue raising funds for Guide Dogs and I also felt that if I was going to ask for sponsorship then it should be something that I had to work for and would push me out of my comfort zone. 

“When I realised that the Bristol Half Marathon was due to take place on what would have been Dad’s birthday, it seemed very appropriate to enter. I’m pleased that I will be able to continue to raise funds for Guide Dogs, but I wonder if I might regret signing up to a half marathon!”

Krissie Isaac, community fundraising manager at Guide Dogs, said: “We are so grateful to Sue and her family who have done an amazing thing by naming a guide dog puppy – and what a wonderful gesture to her Dad.  

“We rely on donations to continue our life-changing work and to give £5,000 is simply wonderful.  Every hour, someone in the UK starts to lose their sight and their kind support will allow us make a life-changing difference to someone living with sight loss.

“We’ll also be supporting Sue every step of the way as she prepares for her half marathon – what an incredible challenge and something she should be very proud of!”

If you would like to find out more about Name a Puppy please email [email protected] or call Guide Dogs on 0800 781 1444. The charity relies on the support of the local community: without your time and donations, Guide Dogs would not be able to provide their life changing services.

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