Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 7°C

Search

WATCH: See the moment this unsung hero is given a stunning surprise on national television

PUBLISHED: 15:13 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:13 30 August 2018

Sophie Wellum-Mayes with one of the dogs she helped  Picture: BONCE PR

Sophie Wellum-Mayes with one of the dogs she helped Picture: BONCE PR

It’s always nice to receive an unexpected surprise - but Sophie Wellum-Mayes got an even more special one than most, after she was handed a special gift on national television.

The unsung hero helps run the vital Brainy Dogs project, where rescue hounds are trained to become companion dogs by prisoners at Suffolk’s Hollesley Bay - so they can be rehomed to support people with brain injuries.

Her work since 2011 has been of vital benefit not only to prisoners but also those with neurological conditions - and has given 70 dogs a new start in life.

But little did she expect when she turned up at what she thought was a colouring competition that a stunning gallery of all the people and dogs she had helped over seven years had been made for her - with a film crew on hand to film the moment she discovered her surprise.

The moment, which took place at Snape Maltings, will now be broadcast on prime-time Saturday television during the commercial break for this week’s X Factor.

Those who Sophie had previously helped suprised her Picture: BONCE PRThose who Sophie had previously helped suprised her Picture: BONCE PR

“I was very shocked,” she said. “I really didn’t expect it.

“Even when Ginette (who nominated Sophie) told me everyone was here I still couldn’t take it in.

“I thought I was coming to judge a colouring competition from some local children.

“I have the best job in the world. I feel very lucky. I get to work with dogs and it’s really rewarding too.

Sophie's surprise will now be airing on ITV   Picture: BONCE PRSophie's surprise will now be airing on ITV Picture: BONCE PR

She spoke about one recent “long day” in particular - but said it was worth it because: “I found the ideal dog for one of our clients.

“We’d been looking for over a year so it was worth all the hard work.

“I cannot thank the National Lottery enough. It has literally been a once in a lifetime experience for me – and something I will never, ever forget.

“And if this film helps to raise awareness of our work than that’s even better.”

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists