Leeds College of Art Student Kimberley Burrows (28), was the winner of the Life Changing Partnership Award at this year’s national Guide Dogs Annual Awards.

All eyes were on the prizes as the awards, presented by Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield and chosen by viewers of ITV This Morning, were read out at the Guide Dogs Annual Awards 2017.  The awards recognise those who have made exceptional achievements or who have overcome significant challenges in the last year.

The winner in the Life Changing partnership category was Leeds resident and student Kimberley Burrows. Kimberley is a truly inspirational and determined young woman who shows that you can pursue your dream no matter how big the challenge.  Kimberley has only a small window of sight in one eye which which made her ambition to become a professional illustrator a challenge. Getting a guide dog was as life changing for Kimberley as was her sight loss.

In 2014 she qualified with guide dog Tami and started to pursue her dream of becoming an Illustrator. With Tami by her side Kimberley made the brave decision to move from Manchester to Leeds to enrol at Leeds College of Art.

Kimberley said “I would never have imagined I could go back to college, start living on my own, and start studying again. I have my beautiful Tami to thank for giving me the confidence to come out of my bedroom and no longer hide from the world.  My tiny amount of vision is going every day and I have less sight now than the day I started college. When it’s completely gone, and it will one day, I hope to be as fabulous as Stevie Wonder!”

The Awards ceremony took place at the Hurlingham Club in London on 17 May 2017.  Kimberley was presented with her award by Dame Mary Perkins, co-founder of Specsavers,

The annual awards are a great way to raise vital funds and celebrate the work of the charity Guide Dogs and to honour the passion and determination of everyone who makes its life-changing work possible. Among those being honoured for their amazing achievements at the award ceremony were guide dogs and their owners, My Guide partnerships – which partner a trained sighted volunteer to help someone who is blind or partially sighted achieve their goals; and many of the fantastic people and organisations that support the work of the charity.  Whether it’s getting out to meet friends, fulfilling career ambitions or helping others, Guide Dogs make sure there is enough support so that no one is left out of life because of their sight loss. The money raised by the Awards will enable Guide Dogs to help more people enjoy the same freedom as everyone else.

Leeds Guide Dogs’ Mobility Team Manager Ben Drury says: “I am thrilled that Kimberley was a winner in the Guide Dogs Annual Awards 2017 – this significant achievement is very well-deserved, and we are so proud of her and Tami”

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