THE Mid Surrey branch of the Guide Dogs charity celebrated a memorable carol service at St Peter’s Church, Old Woking, earlier this month.

More than 170 people attended and helped raise £968.70 to support the charity’s life-changing work.

“Thank you to St Peter’s Church and to everyone who attended the service,” said branch secretary Gillian Light.

“We were joined by the Mayor of Woking, Cllr Saj Hussain, Rock Choir, the St Peter’s handbell ringers and Sea Rangers, who also 
carried out a reading and did a fantastic job managing the refreshments in the church centre following the service.

“It was our first service to be held at the church since 2019, and the charity is very grateful to the Rev Jonathan Thomas, Vicar of St Peter’s, for his continued support of our charity and providing us with access to the church each year to give thanks and acknowledge the work carried out by the charity.

“Much of our work was disrupted by the pandemic and we are still catching up.

“The training and placing of guide dogs was seriously affected, especially with the closure of shops and cafés, restrictions on travel and the general socialising which is necessary to give young dogs confidence when they reach their blind or partially sighted owner.

“Even so, Guide Dogs still managed to make 282 partnerships in 2020, but is aiming to get back to 1,000 partnerships per year.

“This, in turn, has reduced the total ongoing partnerships in the UK to 4,000 from nearly 5,000 pre-pandemic and has resulted in a two-year wait for a guide dog.”

To donate, visit and search for Guide Dogs Mid Surrey Branch.