Essex blind pensioner denied information canine because of overgrown path

A BLIND stroke survivor has been refused a much-needed information canine as a result of her close by footpath is broken and blocked by overgrown shrubs.

Janice Parker, 68, has slammed councilors for failing to restore the half-mile-long path, which she says she has fallen on 4 occasions this yr.

The pensioner, who went blind in 2019 after a stroke, was advised by Information Canine UK she could not have an help pet as a result of the pavement was “unsuitable”.

Janice, who’s widowed, stated: “I am actually unhappy about it. A information canine would assist me a lot.

“I might have a lot extra confidence strolling with the canine than with my cane.

“I’ve requested the council to kind this out however they do not need to spend the cash – absolutely somebody’s security is extra necessary than cash?”

Janice is registered as blind with no sight in her proper eye and solely partial sight in her left eye.

Final month, Information Canine UK rejected her software for an assistant pet after visiting her dwelling in Chelmsford, Essex.


Janice stated the charity branded the trail on Bakers Lane, which is Janice’s solely path to and from her static dwelling, as “extraordinarily unsuitable” for a information canine.

Essex County Council has apologised for “the inconvenience precipitated”.

Information Canine UK stated that blocked or broken pavements pose risks for folks with help canine as they are often compelled onto the street.

Janice, who has two kids and 5 grandkids, stated: “The trail is horrible, it is extraordinarily uneven. My cane will get caught within the ridges and the expansion.

“I’ve fallen over 4 occasions this yr, thankfully, there was no main injury accomplished.

“A information canine would assist me a lot. My eyesight is atrocious.

“Typically I stroll into issues on my proper aspect, and I discover steps actually tough.”

“The Information Canine charity stated that because of the state of the footpath it is extraordinarily unsuitable for me with a cane or with a information canine.

“They stated that if the footpath is sorted out to an inexpensive customary, then I may reapply and go from there.”

The trail, which has a number of utility poles on it, runs alongside a street that results in 300 properties and a nursery.


Janice, a retired McDonald’s supervisor, stated: “The council are actually saying that they should know if they’re accountable for the hedges.

“However sorry, they will look that up inside minutes. And that does not change the state of the footpath.

“I spoke to the council about it 3 times final yr and so they advised me it was all in hand however nothing occurred.

“I am not going to surrender, I will hold badgering them.”

Chris Theobald, senior coverage & campaigns supervisor at Information Canine UK, stated that poor pavements are “all too frequent an issue” for folks with sight loss.

He stated in a press release: “We’re not capable of touch upon particular person functions for a information canine, nonetheless after we make our assessments we take many elements into consideration, together with the native surroundings.

“In circumstances the place the applicant’s common routes could be unsuitable for a information canine, we could not have the ability to supply them a partnership.

“Information canine want house to work, and really slim pavements mixed with obstacles similar to masts or different avenue muddle can drive information canine and their proprietor out into the street repeatedly, doubtlessly inflicting an actual threat to their security.

“Blocked and broken pavements are sadly all too frequent an issue for folks with sight loss across the nation.”


A spokesperson for Essex Highways stated: “We’re sorry to listen to concerning the inconvenience to Ms Parker.

“We have appeared into the scenario and have concluded that the vegetation in query is located on privately owned land. It’s the landowner’s duty to handle this and reduce it again.

“We have now already commenced enforcement exercise by contacting the landowner in query to request that the vegetation be reduce inside a passable timescale, specified by ourselves.”

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