Special Commendation Lunch

Today was the
Guide dog of the year lunch
That our team decided to hold for the nominees from Northern Ireland who didn’t make it to the ceremony itself in London at the start of July.

We were heading to
The titanic centre
To eat. I started to panick when i realised it was a “set menu” as i knew it probably would be something horrible.

The first impressions are that the centre is pretty big. It has underground parking at £1.50 per hour. (It’s a good job i put a point in there!). It is a very wide, cold open building. I was amazed at how packed it was!

We waited until everyone arrived. I chatted with the guide dog mobility assistant (GDMA) who trains the dogs, and Ushi was all over her pawing and going crazy.

I found the restaurant very loud when we walked in. Our cutlery then came in paper packets. I’m not sure why as the eating ends were pointed out the way. When our starter came it was presented on a wooden tray for each of us and it was in a cup. The soup was potato and leak, with cheese. Boy was it cheesy! I couldn’t finish it all as it was so rich. I felt a little sick with it. One person commented that it was more like a fondu.

Thankfully the main course was more exciting and it was the one i was looking forward to. It was chicken with crispy parcinips (thought it was potatos) and lentels. It was much more enjoyable thankfully.

We then went up to the “titanic” staircase to get a rare photo. Apparently nobody was allowed up there. Then it was down to another floor to see the clothes the actors wore. We came back to the restaurant again to get our certificates. They were presented in a lovely frame. Mine said “Specsavers guide dog of the year awards. Young persons achievement” and my name. It was signed by the chief executive of the whole organisation.

I would like to thank all the staff from the Northern Ireland team for nominating me. I felt priviliged.

As for the the Titanic centre, it seems rather posh, or at least that was my impressions. Don’t think i’d like to visit it again. Not for the tour anyway.

Thanks again to the district team!

Specsavors Guide Dog Of The Year Awards

Back in April i think, I got a call from my rehab worker asking if he could nominate me for the
Guide dog of the year awards
Which celebrate the extraordinary work of not just guide dogs, but also fundraisers and volunteers. It is sponsored by Specsavors. There are 7 catagries this year.

Apparently our local team were asked if they would like to nominate anyone and my rehab worker suggested me because of all the fundraising/speaking/talks to applicants i do. I was nominated for the young persons achievement award.

I don’t really like compliments so i was a bit embarrassed. It’s not that i don’t like compliments but i never know what to say lol.

So apparently the person doesn’t have to be told that they are being nominated but my rehab worker wanted to check with me first. I felt really privilidged to be considered for such an award as i thought that i didn’t do that much for the organisation.
So today i got an email saying that i was to get a “special commendation” certificate but wouldn’t attend the event itself. I will paste the email below. I would like to thank all of the Northern Ireland team and especially to my rehab worker for nominating me.

Dear Torie,

I am pleased to let you know that you were nominated by Steve Andrews in
the Young Person’s Achievement category of the Specsavers Guide Dog of
the Year Awards, our annual award ceremony which recognises the
incredible work of our life changing guide dogs and also the people that
make these amazing partnerships possible.

The competition was very stiff this year and we received scores of
nominations over the seven categories.

I’m sorry to say that yours wasn’t one of the nominations the judges
selected to take forward to the final. However, we were very impressed
with your nomination and will be sending you a special commendation to
recognise your achievements.

I will arrange to post your special commendation certificate and you
should receive it in late July.

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,


Elaine Cobb
Communications Officer

Thanks again! Good luck to anyone else being nominated or attending the event including guide dogs themselves!