Blindfolded walk helps charity fund

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Guide Dogs volunteers took a leap into the unknown by walking the entire Guild Wheel blindfolded to raise cash for the charity.

For the four-legged friends they were raising money for, the 21 mile circular route through Preston was a little too far, but 38 volunteers and supporters donned their masks and began the Walk of Faith from Cottam on Sunday morning.

Walk of Faith event to raise money for Guide Dogs

Walk of Faith event to raise money for Guide Dogs

On their return at 5pm, the walkers were led back to the pub by seven working Guide Dogs, two retired guide dogs and a group of puppies who were just starting their training.

Organiser Andy Lee, branch co-ordinator for Guide Dogs Preston and a volunteer puppy walker who gives the puppies basic training, said: “In total, we raised around £3,000 and sponsorship money is still coming in.

“Each Guide Dog costs approximately £50,000 from birth to retirement so it is vital that we help to raise funds for the 5,000 guide dogs and 1,300 puppies in training across the UK.”

Those taking part in the walk were paired up and each couple could walk the entire 21 miles blindfolded or share the responsibility.

Andy said: “We had a couple of training sessions before the walk event so that people could become used to walking wearing the blindfold.

“It is quite a strange sensation to walk blindfolded so we needed to do those sessions to help people get used to it otherwise we could have been some time!

“We never thought we would raise that amount of money but we have had a great donation from the Rotary club of Preston South who also supplied all the t-shirts.”

The event was also held to raise awareness of a new service being provided by Guide Dogs called My Guide, where a sighted volunteer is paired up with a blind or visually impaired person to help them get out an about in their local community.