Ainsley Harriot cooks with Bromley man Alex to back Guide Dogs’ appeal

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 October 2019

Ainsley Harriott and Alex Pepper. Picture: Guide Dogs

Ainsley Harriott and Alex Pepper. Picture: Guide Dogs


Keen cook Alex Pepper was delighted when telly chef Ainsley Harriot popped round to dish out a culinary lesson, made extra special because Alex is blind.

His determination to ignore his disability is now being used by the charity Guide Dogs to show what can still be achieved, despite the lack of sight.

Ainsley Harriot and the charity are launching a new video as part of their new Powers of Description campaign, which shines a spotlight on the importance of words in enriching life and experiences for people with sight loss.

In the video Bromley-born AlexPepper, a Guide Dogs supporter who lost his sight in 2016, and Ainsley come together in the kitchen to discuss their shared passion for food and explore cooking with sight-loss whilst making one of Ainsley's new recipes.

Alex, who also stars as the dad in a Guide Dogs TV ad where his screen daughter yells match commentary as she plays football, said of the promotional video: "My love of cooking has definitely increased since losing my sight.

"You learn to appreciate things you didn't notice before. My passions are very much the same."

The video is designed to highlight the need for sighted people to be able to communicate the world to a blind person.

A lack of confidence in language skills amongst the UK public highlights that a nervousness of saying the wrong thing (21 per cent) is preventing communication between sighted people and people with sight loss.

Although one in four Brits agree that more frequent encounters with someone with a visual impairment would help them feel more confident (25pc), a better understanding of how to describe things (31pc) and the best terminology to use (29pc) were deemed most beneficial.

Dave Kent, engagement officer at Guide Dogs, says: "Language has the ability to nourish and inform situations and places for people with visual impairments. Communication and description are a core part of the My Guide service.

"To make a real difference, our mission is to recruit an extra 4500 My Guide volunteers by 2023 - Guide Dogs' need your help."

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Bromley Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Bromley Times