East Claydon School welcomes Medical Detection Dog on sports day

Medical Detection Dog at East Claydon School
Medical Detection Dog at East Claydon School

Children at East Claydon School and Pre-school welcomed a special guest at their recent summer sports day.

Alice Halstead, and her medical detection dog, Claydon, travelled from Yorkshire to surprise the children, who have sponsored Claydon’s training since she was eight weeks old.

Alice has a rare form of type 1 diabetes and was hospitalised for three years as a teenager. Claydon is a medical detection dog who alerts Alice when her blood sugar levels become too low or high.

The school has formed a strong relationship with Alice and Claydon ever since the children met and named Claydon. Alice has been supportive of the children’s interests, teaching them about her life.

Since meeting the pair, headteacher Barry Rogers, has devised teaching and learning opportunities around the Medical Detection Dog charity, which is based in Great Horwood.

The project has been used as a means for improving reading and writing by getting the pupils to write and email about how Alice and Claydon look after each other.

Alice regularly writes to the children with updates and sends packages or envelopes of goodies to the school, while Claydon received a special parcel of pop up cards for her birthday.

The school council has organised its own events to raise money to support Alice and Claydon by making their own cakes and biscuits to sell and running a cake sale after school. At their sports day, they presented a cheque for around £100 and a further £65 was raised on the day from selling celebration balloons which were then released by the children. This money was donated to the Rays of Sunshine charity, which Alice works with as a special ambassador to help grant wishes to seriously and terminally ill children.

The pupils will be continuing to stay in touch with Alice in the coming year.

Mr Rogers said: “Alice is a remarkable young lady who works tirelessly to help other people. She has been a real inspiration to the children, staff and parents at East Claydon. It was such a special day when everyone finally got to meet them in person and Claydon is such an amazing dog. Alice and Claydon have become very important members of the whole school family.”