Day for dogs is a barking success for the hospice

Wagging tails and a chorus of woofs helped to raise thousands of pounds for St Nicholas Hospice Care.

Dogs of all breeds, colours, shapes and sizes padded their way to Nowton Park, in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday, May 21, to take part in the second Paws in the Park charity dog show.

An estimated 3,000 people enjoyed the occasion which included dog agility and gundog scurry demonstrations and have-a-go opportunities.

While monies are still being counted, it is estimated the event raised just over £9,000 for the hospice.

Charlie De-Moore, Hospice Events Fundraiser, said: “The second Paws in the Park event has been a brilliant success. We are overwhelmed with the amount of support we have received.

“To see so many people enjoying the day with their dogs was fantastic. We are so grateful to everyone who supported us, especially Swayne and Partners, without their continued help and support the day wouldn’t have been the success it was.

“Thank you to everyone who attended and supported Paws in the Park which has raised vital funds for the people the hospice helps across West Suffolk and Thetford.”

For the dog show’s judges picking prize winning pooches was a difficult task, with top titles for categories including best dressed, waggiest tail, dog that looks most like its owner and best in show all up for grabs.

Among the judges were Heart radio’s breakfast presenters Dave and Heidi, who gave their verdicts on classes including the dog that most looks like its owner and the dog and the dog judges would most like to take home.

Dave, who also bought his Shih Tzu Vader, to the show said: “The show has been great. I really love dogs and it is so nice to see so many different breeds together at one event.”

As well as being able to enjoy the dog-themed fun a variety of children’s amusements and trade stands also helped to keep visitors of all ages occupied.

Melanie Howforth, 57, who attended the event with her daughters Milly and Sammy, said: “It’s been a great day. We have all really enjoyed it. We entered out dog Jack into a lot of the classes – he hasn’t won any but it has been great to take part. It’s been a really feel-good family day for the Howforth family.”

A collection of food and drink stands also helped to keep everyone fed and watered throughout the day.

“Everything has been brilliant. We have all loved it. We came to the first Paws in the Park and when we saw the second one was taking place we knew we had to bring Ted our Labrador down to give him another chance at winning a rosette,” said 34-year-old Kelly Carr.

Funds raised by Paws in the Park will help the hospice to continue to provide care and support for those across West Suffolk and Thetford in the final chapters of their lives.

Mike Fornham, his wife Sara and their Jack Russell Dexter were glad to support the event after Mike’s grandma received the charity’s care.

“We always try to support the hospice were we can as they made such a difference to our family when my grandma was unwell. The support of the hospice’s nurses made her final days so much better.

“We have all had a great time at Paws in the Park, Dexter especially and we are already looking forward to next year,” said the 28-year-old.

You can find out more about the hospice at

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