Steve helps open doors for guide dog owners this Christmas

Steve attended an event in Parliament run by the charity Guide Dogs to raise awareness of discrimination against guide dog owners. The MP for Ealing North heard from guide dog owners about the impact of being turned away by businesses because of their dog. They also collected a Christmas card with messages highlighting Guide Dogs’ Access All Areas campaign.

It is against the law to refuse access to a disabled person accompanied by an assistance dog except in the most exceptional circumstances. However, a Guide Dogs survey found that three quarters of assistance dog owners reported that they had been refused entry by businesses.

Businesses that closed their doors to assistance dog owners included shops, supermarkets, gyms, campsites, places of worship, public transport, taxis and minicabs, pubs and hotels.

Steve said:

“I was shocked to hear about cases of guide dog owners being turned away by businesses. This isn’t just poor customer service; it’s discrimination and it’s unacceptable. Disabled people have the same rights as anyone else to shop, take a taxi or visit their local pub.

I support Guide Dogs’ Access All Areas campaign to open all doors to guide dog owners this Christmas.”

Stephen Pound MP helps open doors for guide dog owners this Christmas

Poppy Ride

For some reason I’m spending a great deal of time on static bicycles – although there is not much evidence of weight loss to date.

Following on from my two most recent escapades I signed up for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Ride parliamentary competition and – although I say it myself – finished up with a most creditable score – I even came out on the leader board just above the representative of the Democratic Unionist Party!

As the picture shows my pacemaker was a Weapons Engineer from the Royal Navy – had it been a road race she would have been out of sight after the first five minutes though.

Actually enjoyed the experience and am now in the market for an exercise bike and some training tips for the next adventure.