Date: 12 Mar 2015


Generous rugby supporters, gaming fans and Ricoh Arena staff have raised £5,000 to sponsor a Guide Dog called Rick.

The Godiva Puppy Appeal was launched last February to raise £50,000 over two years to name as many dogs as possible to help change the lives of blind and partially sighted people across Coventry and Warwickshire.

The target is well underway towards being reached, with six puppies in the process of being named and another 12 in the pipeline.

Angela Perkins, head of sales at the Ricoh Arena, met the Godiva Puppy Appeal team at a networking event and the venue’s fundraising campaign began.

Various events have been organised include ‘pat a puppy’ when Ricoh Arena staff and clients had the opportunity to cuddle a puppy in exchange for a donation, and the usually talkative sales apprentice Shakeela Cumberbatch took part in a sponsored silence for a day.

Gaming fans from throughout the world who attended Multiplay’s Insomnia gaming festivals raised an impressive £3,000 and volunteers from the Coventry Godiva Puppy Appeal have also attended Wasps’ matches with the first two fixtures leading to £1,500 being collected.

Frank Lynn, volunteer co-ordinator at the Godiva Puppy Appeal, said the Ricoh Arena’s support had been fantastic.

“They have really looked after us and invited us to a lot of their events to raise money and without their support, we wouldn’t have attracted interest from other businesses,” he said.

“Guide Dogs receive no funding from the government or National Lottery and we rely entirely on voluntary donations.

“The £5,000 raised for Rick will go towards his breeding and first year of training to go through the puppy walking process and we will be giving the Ricoh Arena regular updates and photos on his progress.

“The plan now is that my wife, Gill, and I have put our names down to be puppy walkers and we’re hoping to get Rick in the summer.”

Angela said after meeting the Godiva Puppy Appeal team, the fundraising campaign began for the Ricoh Arena to sponsor their own dog.

“Frank, Gill and other volunteers have brought numerous dogs to the Ricoh Arena when we have had large public events,” she said.

“The first one was Insomnia. The dogs were so popular that they now feature on Multiplay’s website and they are also fundraising to sponsor their own puppy.

“The volunteers have attended all Wasps’ games so far – they are getting to know their season-ticket holders!”