Peel student’s dog is graduation star
Guide Dog Angel supports student Robert through his UCLan course
A Peel student got extra cheers from the crowd at his University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) graduation ceremony when he was joined on stage by Guide Dog Angel dressed in her own graduation gown.
Robert Juan Greggor received his degree in counselling and psychotherapy from UCLan this week. The 25-year-old former Queen Elizabeth II High School pupil, who is registered blind, has spent the last three studying years in Preston and said the University’s disability support services made his time at the University run very smoothly.
“The help I received was absolutely brilliant,” he said. “From accommodation, to security to library services and of course my academic tutors, I was given great support. What’s more, the University was willing to listen and work with me when I suggested changes to make improvements. They got it spot on.”
Robert came to UCLan after completing his A Levels at the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford. He was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at the age of seven, diagnosed as partially sighted when he was 13 and registered blind at 17-years-old.
"Angel supports me around campus by guiding me and making sure I am safe whilst we travel the streets of Preston. It is my job to understand where everything is on campus, but her job is to ensure I don’t walk into walls, bollards or people."
Robert decided to study counselling and psychotherapy because of a desire to “help and understand people” and already has plans to take up a master's at UCLan in September.
He said: “I’ve signed up for a Masters in Integrative Psychotherapy, which I will study for part-time and complete 100 hours of placement work alongside my studies. I’m aiming to do my placement with Cruse Bereavement Care as I think that will be really worthwhile.”
Robert’s dog, 3-year-old Labrador and Golden Retriever cross Angel, has supported him during the last two years of his course after his last Guide Dog retired.
He added: “I was a white cane user until 2013, when I received my first Guide Dog called Wilma. Wilma was a Golden Retriever and worked with me for three years until she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2016, the Easter of our first year at UCLan. In July 2016 I trained with Angel and she’s been working with me ever since. It was actually the anniversary of our training when we graduated.
“Angel supports me around campus by guiding me and making sure I am safe whilst we travel the streets of Preston. It is my job to understand where everything is on campus, but her job is to ensure I don’t walk into walls, bollards or people. She is well loved around University, and one of my lecturers last year brought her carrots, her favourite treat, every week for our personal development module.”
Robert graduated from UCLan at Preston’s Guild Hall alongside more than 3,500 fellow students.