On Sunday the 3rd August, more than 50 adults and children, together with 40 dogs, joined the staff of Darwin Veterinary Centre in a sponsored dog walk in aid of the Sevenoaks based charity, the Nsumbi Trust.

The walkers were exceptionally lucky with the weather; the weekend’s torrential rain held off for the 3 hours of the 5 mile walk through Biggin Hill, Cudham and Berry’s Green. A mile and a half before the end, a pit-stop at the Lodge Boarding Kennels proved a welcome break, with choc ices and cakes for the 2-legged participants, and water, treats and a rosette for their 4-legged companions. Despite the climb up through Blackbush Shaw, near the end of the walk, everyone who started made it back.

“If all of the money pledged is received”, says Sonya Miller-Smith, Head Vet at Darwin Veterinary Centre, “we will have raised approximately £2,000 – a tremendous achievement. I would like to thank all who braved the inclement weather to take part, and everyone who sponsored them.”

All of the money raised will be donated to the Nsumbi Trust, a locally based charity, which aims to provide meals, education and healthcare, in a safe and secure environment, for orphaned children in Uganda. “The charity is close to the hearts of many locals, some of whom have recently returned from Uganda” said Sonya. “We are pleased to be able to support their excellent work. As little as £7 a month provides a child with a good education, offering them hope for the future.”

As well as dogs belonging to clients of the vet centre, the walkers were also joined by several dogs currently looking for new homes, courtesy of the RSPCA and the Lodge Kennels. These dogs really enjoyed their outing and it is hoped that some of them will find new, loving homes in the near future. Poppy, a 9 month old whippet, was one such success story. Five months ago she arrived at the practice, emaciated and struggling to breath. She was nursed back to good health, and found a new home with veterinary nurse, Terri Stillman. Terri and Poppy participated in the walk, representing Darwin Veterinary Centre and together raised £300.

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