Guide Dogs wins Best Charity Stand at party conference

Guide Dogs wins Best Charity Stand at party conference as Top Gear-style challenge proves popular with MPs

Guide Dogs has been named as having the Best Charity Stand at the Liberal Democrat Party Conference, after a vote open to MPs and other attendees.

MPs were challenged to set the best lap time at the eye-catching stand, which featured a large Scalextric track complete with Guide Dogs-liveried cars. Guide Stig, dressed in a white racing suit and crash helmet, was on hand to show them how it was done.

Top of the leader board was Birmingham Yardley MP, John Hemming, while Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg featured in the top 10. The fastest minister was Danny Alexander MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Guide Dogs' Campaigns Manager, David Cowdrey, said: "The stand definitely had an element of fun to it, but it came with a very serious message. It promoted our Safe and Sound campaign, which flags the danger that quiet electric and hybrid vehicles pose to blind and partially sighted people.

"If you can't see a car, or hear it, how do you know when it's safe to cross the road? We don't want quiet vehicles to become silent killers.

"We're pleased that Liberal Democrats took notice of our campaign by voting our stand the best."

The Best Charity Stand award was presented on Wednesday, 26 September 2012, the last afternoon of the conference, by Alistair Carmichael MP, Chief Whip of the Liberal Democrats, and Mark Hunter MP, Deputy Chief Whip of the Liberal Democrats.

Guide Dogs is attending all three major party conferences in England with the award-winning stand. Guide Dogs is calling for the Government to demand that manufacturers introduce artificial engine noises on quiet vehicles.

For more information, contact Annabel Williams on 0118 983 0183 or

More photos available on request 

Notes for editors:

About The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association: The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association is a British charitable organisation founded in 1934. Guide Dogs provides independence and freedom to thousands of blind and partially sighted people across the UK through the provision of guide dogs, mobility and other rehabilitation services. It also campaigns passionately for the rights of those with visual impairments. Guide Dogs is working towards a society in which blind and partially sighted people enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else.