Meet Chloe and Ocho - Euan's Guide Ambassadors!
Chloe Hammond and her DogAid assistance dog recently joined Euan’s Guide Ambassador network. We asked Chloe to tell us about their journey so far….
How did you find out about Euan's Guide and how long have you been an Ambassador?
I'm a brand new Ambassador. I wrote my first review in November 2019 after seeing a Red Cord Card in the loo. I ordered my own set of cards and started regularly reviewing places I visit. I know how much research goes in to planning an accessible day out so I hope my reviews make it a little easier for others looking for places to visit. I absolutely love seeing the Red Cord Cards, especially when it wasn't placed by me. And I love seeing other versions of the cards too. It's worked. Euan's Guide has raised awareness.
What review would you say is your most favourite that you have written?
My favourite place to visit is the Grand Pier in Weston. It's right on my doorstep and I go all the time. They've watched my assistance dog grow from a prospect puppy to a DogAID assistance dog. They actually asked me to come and do a review. They had made some changes and wanted to know if they'd helped. The pier had no input on what I wrote or the scores I gave and did not accompany me while I visited. They have contacted me multiple times since to ask me how they can improve or what else they could do or just to tell me about things in the pipeline that I may be interested in (like autism friendly mornings). I loved doing the review because I was so pleased they were thinking about accessibility and inclusion and wanted the opinion from a disabled person directly.
Can you please tell us something people might not know about you?
I'm unique. I'm currently the only nurse in the UK (maybe the world) who is a registered nurse that uses a wheelchair and an assistance dog. I recently won the Exceptional Home Care Nurse Award and I am nominated for some others too.
I have recently shared an Instagram reel showing me… all of me. Disabled doesn't have a look, or a sound, or a smell, or a stigma. I drive my own Motability car and use my Blue Badge, I have wheelchairs with and without power attachments, a life glider, crutches, splints and braces, orthotic shoes, an assistance dog, and a life worth living. Too many people see a wheelchair as a barrier. But aids give me my independence and help me feel empowered to be me. My disabilities fluctuate. My physical and mental health has its ups and downs. But I'm still me…. and I'm exactly who I want to be.
Tell us about Ocho
Ocho is my DogAID assistance dog. He is my best friend. We do everything together. Thanks to Ocho I have my independence back. And I have the confidence to get out there and explore the world. He is nominated for assistance dog of the year at the Animal Star Awards this year.
Do you have any advice to new and existing reviewers on writing a review on Euan's Guide?
It doesn't have to be anything long or special. Just write about places you visit. It could be the coffee shop, the museum, the bank or even a book store. And if you stay in a hotel and you loved it, tell people! You could be helping someone else access a holiday to remember. And if you tried to visit a restaurant that was a logistical nightmare and just wished you'd ordered take-away in bed, share that too. The more we share the more we know. And hey, maybe the business will see the review and make changes to be more accessible. Win win.
Chloe and Ocho also recently took part in the Parallel Windsor Marathon, and had a stall representing DogAid and Euan’s Guide. A huge thank you to you both for being part of the Euan’s Guide Ambassador Network.