Christine Seddon runs weekly dog training sessions and a yearly dog show
When illegal dog fighting began to escalate at an Edmonton park twelve years ago, threatening both the park and its users, a local resident stepped in.
Christine Seddon is a retired dog groomer from Hertford Road who was greatly disheartened by what she had seen taking place in Jubilee Park. Using the experience she had gained at a dog training club elsewhere in Enfield, she decided to set up a similar scheme in the park to try to tackle the anti-social behaviour there.
“There was talk of banning dogs from the park,” said Christine. “They were damaging trees by hanging dogs off them to build up their muscles. We had to get a tree surgeon in to assess the damage.”
But banning dogs from the park would have punished all dog owners for the bad behaviour of a small number, so Christine’s approach instead was “education before legislation”. By co-ordinating between local police and Enfield Council, Christine set up a dog training group, having already seen how beneficial they could be in her work with Enfield Chace Dog Training Club.
For over a decade since then, Christine has organised Saturday morning dog training sessions at Jubilee Park, only asking participants for donations to cover insurance costs. Sadly the Covid-19 lockdown has halted these sessions for now, but she says they will resume as soon as they are allowed.
For the last few years Christine has also been leading fundraising efforts, hoping to raise £10,000 to pay for a dog agility course in Jubilee Park. To help raise the money she organised a yearly dog show in the park, and through these and other efforts has got halfway to her target.
All of this work is done in Christine’s spare time. Although retired, she works as a full-time carer for her partner Victor, who has Alzheimer’s disease. “I know dogs really help people, they have helped me to deal with life,” she says. “During the pandemic there’s been huge demand for puppies.
“Parks are also really important right now.”
Christine has also helped campaign – successfully – for a defibrillator to be installed at Jubilee Park, and does other fundraising activities for Alzheimer’s Society. Her friend Tracey Walton, who nominated her as an ‘Enfield Community Hero’, said: “She’s a good friend, to all animals and people.”
Support the crowdfunder for a dog trail at Jubilee Park:
This article is the second in our ‘Enfield Community Heroes’ series, sponsored by Edmonton Green Shopping Centre. Dispatch readers are welcome to nominate their own local hero – someone who has gone above and beyond to help support the local community. Simply email your nomination to [email protected].