From springers to schnauzers, lovers of Suffolk Dog Day – affectionately know as the ‘Woofers’ – came to the grounds of Helmingham Hall in high spirits yesterday, tails wagging and paws poised for the first ever Woofers Winter Walk!
The brand new event, which came about after the annual Suffolk Dog Day was cancelled last year due to hot weather, gave the Woofers a chance to get together in a different season to raise vital funds for local Suffolk charities and community groups. With food and drink stalls, doggy selfie competitions and a scenic walk on offer, it’s no surprise that the event had a good turn out despite the weather!
Woofers set off for the first ever Woofers Winter Walk
After getting their snazzy wristbands, the Woofers made their way into the Event Village, where many picked up a hot coffee and sizzling bacon sarnie to set them up for their stroll. It was here where some of our event sponsors Skinners and World of Pets, and guest charities Our Special Friends and Rural Coffee Caravan had their own stands on site.
Suffolk Community Foundation’s Head of Public Affairs Tim Holder then took to the mic and officially welcomed the Woofers, before starting the countdown and setting the first set of Woofers walkers off on their way with a cheer!
Tim and Harriet from the Foundation team start the countdown!
During the 3 mile walk, Woofers were treated to stunning views of Helmingham Hall, a glimpse of the deer and of course, hot coffee and cake from the Rural Coffee Caravan – situated half way round the walk for a perfect pit stop!
Suffolk Community Foundation’s Head of Public Affairs Tim Holder said, ‘We’re so proud to have such a loyal band of volunteers, who year after year step up to make Suffolk Dog Day a real ‘not to be missed’ date in the Suffolk calendar. The Winter Woofers Walk is a spin-off from this wonderful event. What people don’t always realise, is that every penny raised – almost £500,000 so far – is donated to support Suffolk charities who all do tremendous work helping vulnerable people right across our beautiful county. These events are all about dogs helping people, but it’s also an excellent opportunity for all walks of life to come together, have fun and make a positive difference.’
As the pooches and their owners approached the finish line, the Foundation team cheered them on with Doggy bags in hand, ready to reward the worthy Woofers with treats from Skinners and World of Pets.
Some very happy Woofers, including Royal Ballet’s Gary Avis MBE and his dog Hoagy pass the finish line and receive their Doggy bags!
Beth, who attended the walk with her cocker spaniel Indy, said, ‘the rain certainly hasn’t stopped us, with Indy enjoying meeting lots of new waggy tailed friends and taking part in the selfie competition! Really looking forward to coming back here for Suffolk Dog Day in the summer too – well done Woofers!’
A big THANK YOU to everyone who came to the event – your donations will help to raise much needed funds to support Suffolk charities.
Keep your furry ears close to the ground for more updates very soon, and don’t forget to subscribe to the Suffolk Dog Day newsletter! 🐾
Photography credits: Ian Lipman