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Go Ape Bracknell Welcomes Guide Dogs

Go Ape Bracknell Welcomes Guide Dogs For The Blind Association For A Treetop Challenge

On the 22nd February, Go Ape welcomed 65-year-old guide dog owner Tiggi Trethowan, Guide Dogs Head of Accessibility, Alex Pepper, and SAS star Billy Billingham for a Treetop Challenge adventure at Go Ape Bracknell.

Every day 250 people in the UK start to lose their sight: the equivalent to one person every six minutes. Research conducted by Guide Dogs, showed that three-fifths (60%) of Brits would prioritise adrenaline filled experiences if they began to lose their sight. Four in five (81%) of Brits would also focus on creating memories with their family or friends to fondly remember.

A Go Ape adventure was a key experience on Tiggi’s visual memory list and she was delighted when Guide Dogs, and Billy Billingham surprised her with a day out at Go Ape Bracknell. Billy and Go Ape team members supported Tiggi around Treetop Challenge, where she experienced canopy-high tree-to-tree crossings, free-fall Tarzan swings and epic zip-lining.

Tiggi on crossing at Go Ape Bracknell with Guide Dogs

Guide dog owner Tiggi Trethowan explains, “I am obsessed with adventure and prior to my sight loss I was used to travelling the world as part of a busy job as a television producer. However, a very rare form of glaucoma meant I lost sight in my right eye within two weeks of diagnosis, and I currently have about 6% of my sight in my left eye.

“After a tough period, I was paired with a wonderful black Labrador guide dog Jackie and I’m now trying to make visual memories of places that matter to me before I lose my sight completely. Alongside a close friend (and guide) who travels with me, I’ve ticked off swimming with turtles in the Galapagos, visiting Antarctica to study humpback whales and have been able to revisit a beach in Cornwall where I have many childhood memories. Next, I want to try flying in a helicopter, even though I don’t know what I’ll be able to see. I’ll continue my adventures because I don’t want my sight loss to define me.”

alex and billy on zips at Go Ape Bracknell with Guide Dogs

Go Ape Bracknell Site Manager, Tara Woods, said, “Since we started back in 2002, Go Ape has been focussed on one key mission: to encourage everyone to live life adventurously. This applies equally to all our customers and co-owners.

Every year we welcome over a million customers to our 36 locations and help them to create fun and memorable experiences outdoors. From high ropes and ziplines to Segways and Axe Throwing, we want to encourage everyone to step outside of their comfort zones.

It was a real treat to welcome Tiggi and Alex to Go Ape Bracknell, they had a great time up in the trees and our team really valued the learning opportunity Guide Dogs facilitated. Before the visit, Guide Dogs provided some informative online materials which showed just how simple it is to support someone with very little or no sight, as well as highlighting the everyday challenges visually impaired people face. These resources were also shared with the wider team for the benefit of all co-owners and future adventurers.”

Live life Adventurously

Inspire me

tiggi and alex by go ape sign with certificates at Go Ape Bracknell with Guide Dogs