Students raise £5000 for Guide Dogs' Name a Puppy scheme

After a nomination by dedicated student and guide dog owner, Merton College undergraduate students have raised £5,000 to name a guide dog puppy. 

The Guide Dogs Name a Puppy scheme allows supporters to donate in order to give a future guide dog a chosen name.

Ella Caulfield, an undergraduate student in her third year of mathematics, has been a guide dog owner since 2018, with her beautiful guide dog Rio joining her at university. Ella is no stranger to volunteering. Since getting Rio, she has been a speaker and fundraising volunteer for Guide Dogs, working with the local groups to help raise awareness for Guide Dogs and tell people about her experiences. At college, she also holds the role of Disabled Student’s Representative for undergraduate students at Merton as well as being a college ambassador.

When she found out about the Name a Puppy scheme, Ella knew that it could be a great way to get Merton involved with Guide Dogs. She nominated Guide Dogs, and the students chose to support this charity during 2021 and again in 2022, raising £5000 over the two years. A list of potential names was compiled, with three potential names, each with a link to the College, put forward.

The puppy named by the students has not yet been born but when it has, one of the three names will be chosen. The College will then receive updates and photos to follow their puppy’s progress throughout its life.

Ella said:

“Fundraising for Guide Dogs is obviously very close to my heart, and I felt I was able to educate the college community a bit further about Guide Dogs through this. Name A Puppy provides an almost tangible result, we are really looking forward to finding out which of our names gets chosen and receiving updates as the puppy grows and begins training for its life changing purpose - which I can attest to from personal experience.

“Being able to name a guide dog in honour of our College means we have made a small but lasting mark on Guide Dogs, which I think is an amazing reward. I would encourage other colleges and groups to do the same and honour their community and Guide Dogs with a special and meaningful name.”

Guide Dogs helps the two million people in the UK living with sight loss live the life they choose. Find out more at