WALKERS and their canine chums will be putting their best feet (and paws) forward to raise money for local family support charity Home-Start Winchester on Friday March 17.

A regular fixture in the charity’s fund raising calendar, this year’s walk will be sponsored for the first time by Gay Dog Boarding Kennels of Bradley.

“It’s such a great way to raise funds,” says Paul Bliss who owns Gay Dog Boarding Kennels with his wife Melanie. They will not only be joining walkers with their Labrador Nina but donating a week’s free board for one lucky hound.

“Having brought up our own family, we understand the ups and downs of being parents and it can be a struggle, never mind if you are coping with pressures like disability, depression or loneliness,” says Paul. “That’s why we have chosen to support Home-Start, as we recognise the marvellous work their volunteers do supporting local families.”

There will be two guided walks of different lengths starting from Pinglestone Farm in Old Alresford, so walkers can make up their minds on the day how energetic they are feeling. The shorter walk is 45 minutes and the longer is an hour and a half, both in beautiful countryside, with much of the walks off-road and on wide paths.

Non-dog owners are also very welcome and wellies are recommended as footpaths could be muddy. Walking will begin promptly at 10.45am, regardless of the weather. Hearty home-made soups and a ploughman’s lunch will welcome the human walkers on their return and lunch will be served in Pinglestone Farm’s barn, courtesy of Lord and Lady Wakeham.

A suggested donation of £10 per person will secure a place for lunch, which can be booked by sending a cheque (payable to Home-Start Winchester and Districts) to Sue Barham, Home-Start Winchester, Lanterns, Bereweeke Road, Winchester SO22 6AJ or by emailing info@home-startwinchester.org.uk for a booking form.

More information from Sue Gentry on 01962 773185.

PHOTO CAPTION: Event sponsors Melanie and Paul Bliss with faithful hound Nina.


Home-Start Winchester is a local charity which provides friendship and emotional and practical help to parents with at least one child under five years old. The walkers will be supporting families who are struggling to cope, helping to change lives and giving children a better future.