Woofverstone Hall opens grounds to dogs as part of charity event

Woolverstone Hall welcomed Ipswich residents and their four-legged friends this Sunday

Woolverstone Hall welcomed Ipswich residents and their four-legged friends this Sunday to raise vital funds for St Elizabeth Hospice. - Credit: St Elizabeth Hospice

A stately home near Ipswich opened its grounds to dogs and their owners as part of a fundraising event this weekend. 

Woolverstone Hall, which overlooks the River Orwell, opened its grounds to the public on Sunday to host St Elizabeth Hospice’s inaugural ‘Take My Lead’ fundraising event. 

Over 150 dog-lovers arrived to complete dog walks of 5km and 10km in the grounds of the Grade I listed manor.  

Diane Yarrow-Smith was at Take My Lead with her dog, Buster. 

Diane Yarrow-Smith attended Take My Lead with her dog, Buster.

Diane Yarrow-Smith attended Take My Lead with her dog, Buster. She was pleased to be able to support the charity after they took care of her husband, Mark, at the end of his life. - Credit: St Elizabeth Hospice

She said she was pleased to have been able to raise funds for the charity, which supports those living with life-limiting and progressive illnesses. 

She said: “The hospice gave amazing care to my husband Mark before he passed away.  

“Buster and I were even allowed to stay with Mark over Christmas, while he received support from the hospice nurses. 

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“They gave him the best care he could have had and we made lots of friends with the staff. 

“Fundraising events like Take My Lead are a great opportunity to give back to the hospice and it has been brilliant to see all the dogs here today.” 

This is the first year Take My Lead has run, and it was regarded as a roaring success. 

Joanne Rodger is the events and challenges manager at St Elizabeth Hospice. 

She said: “Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers, supporters and dogs who made Take My Lead such a brilliant event. 

“We loved seeing all the adorable dogs enjoying themselves as they completed their walks. All the funds raised will make a big difference to the hospice’s work throughout the local community and we are extremely grateful to everyone who supported Take My Lead.” 

This summer will also see the Big Hoot come to Ipswich, with the town playing host to 50 owl statues and smaller ‘Little Hoots,’ all sponsored by a local business. 

Each Little Hoot has been decorated by a school or youth group in Suffolk, who have signed up to raise a minimum of £695 for the hospice. 

The Little Hoots will be reuniting at the end of the month and can be viewed at the Suffolk Show in Trinity Park on Tuesday, May 31 and Wednesday, June 1.