A women crouches down over a guide dog lying on the floor with her right hand stroking its head

Avanti West Coast teams up with Guide Dogs to highlight charity’s work

Avanti West Coast welcomed Guide Dogs teams to its stations to highlight how charity supports people with sight loss. 

  • Guide Dogs volunteers welcomed at stations and offices on west coast route    
  • Local fundraising groups met with staff and customers to highlight how Guide Dogs help people with sight loss live the life they choose
  • Partnership supports commitment to enable independent travel for all

Avanti West Coast has welcomed the team from Guide Dogs at its stations and offices to help raise vital funds and awareness of how the charity supports people with sight loss.  

The intercity operator hosted local Guide Dogs fundraising groups at Coventry, London Euston, Preston, and Rugby stations, as well as its offices in London and Birmingham. The visits were arranged to help staff as well as customers to gain a greater understanding of how the charity help people living with sight loss to live actively, independently, and well.

Accompanied by ambassador dogs, volunteers were on hand to talk about their important role, highlight the charity’s work and inspire others to support the range of services Guide Dogs provide – either by donating their time or fundraising. Individuals being supported by Guide Dogs were also on hand to explain more about sight loss.

The visits were arranged as part of Avanti West Coast’s annual Sustainability Week – a week of activities held internally by the operator designed to highlight initiatives that support its 10-year sustainability strategy (Our Responsible Plan). Customers are one of the four pillars of this Plan, under which Avanti West Coast aims to enable everyone to experience independent journeys.

The partnership with Guide Dogs is the latest activity by the train operator to increase awareness and understanding of accessibility amongst staff and customers. It also came ahead of Avanti West Coast joining partners across the rail industry to exhibit at Naidex – the UK’s leading event dedicated to empowering and supporting disabled individuals.

Julie Wood, Regional Community Fundraising Manager at Guide Dogs, said: “We would like to thank Avanti West Coast for the opportunity to visit their stations during Sustainability Week to help raise awareness and vital funds for Guide Dogs. It has been brilliant meeting their staff and customers to share more about our life-changing work, which we couldn’t do without our amazing staff and volunteers. It's with everyone’s help we’re able to reach and support more people living with sight loss live the life they choose.”

Theresa Roberts, Social Value and Accessibility Manager at Avanti West Coast, said: “We loved welcoming Guide Dogs to our stations to highlight their work to support people living with sight loss and raise vital funds.

“It was great to learn about the life-changing guide dogs and how we can provide the best support for those who may need extra assistance when making rail journeys, as we want to enable independent travel for all.”


Contact Information

Laura Normansell

Avanti West Coast


Notes to editors

Main image: Avanti West Coast welcomed Ambassador dogs and volunteers from Guide Dogs to its stations to raise awareness of the charity's support for people with sight loss. 

About Guide Dogs   

Guide Dogs provides life-changing support for people living with sight loss from childhood to adulthood, including guide dogs, mobility training, rehabilitation and campaigning.

Guide Dogs | The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association

About Avanti West Coast   

Avanti West Coast, operator of intercity rail services on the West Coast Main Line, is a joint venture between FirstGroup and Trenitalia, delivering a cleaner, greener railway that drives the West Coast forward.

We’re on a mission to revolutionise train travel. Our refurbed Pendolinos are returning to the rails, with a £117m investment that’s delivering best in class comfort. Rebuilt using sustainable materials wherever possible, including tables made from recycled plastic bottles, our upgraded fleet offers 25,000 brand new seats, free Wi-Fi, onboard recycling and much more.

New Hitachi trains are set to replace our Voyager trains from 2024, leading to a 61% cut in carbon emissions. Quieter and roomier, with more reliable Wi-Fi, wireless charging for electrical devices and a real-time customer information system, the new 23-strong fleet is the result of a £350m investment in sustainable travel.

We’re tackling climate change wherever we can, from reducing energy and water use to training drivers in eco-driving techniques and sourcing food and drink from local suppliers. Our goal is to be net zero carbon by 2031. We’re on track.

For the latest news, visit the Avanti West Coast Media Centre: https://newsdesk.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/

Press Office: 0845 000 3333