Lowestoft man raises more than �6,000 for Guide Dogs charity

FUNDRAISERS have climbed mountains, run marathons and completed all manner of feats for good causes.

But after raising more than �6,000 for Guide Dogs for the Blind, Lowestoft man Simon Waters says he will always appreciate how lucky he is to have the gift of sight – and how vital the charity's work is to those without it.

Simon, 41, took part in a sponsored 10-mile walk on Lowestoft seafront in August, accompanied by friends and relatives. But he chose to complete the walk blindfolded, so he could properly appreciate the difficulties faced by a blind or partially-sighted person.

Simon, of Mylodon Road, raised a total of �6,030 and last Friday, at the Wherry Hotel in Oulton Broad, he handed over a cheque to Janice Waddel, treasurer of the Lowestoft branch of Guide Dogs for the Blind. Also present were John Rix, who is himself blind, his wife, Ann, and his guide dog, Jacob.

Simon said: 'I was lucky during the sponsored walk: I had my son Joshua guiding me along the way, giving me verbal instructions to avoid any obstructions. A visually impaired or blind person does not have this luxury at their disposal and has to rely 100pc on their dog.

'I think it is absolutely amazing what these dogs do and it really brought home the reality to me of what it would be like to be blind. I have full respect for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and the amazing work they do.'

Earlier this year, a competition was held at the Beacon Bingo Club in Lowestoft, where Simon works, to name the guide dog that his fundraising effort will help pay for. It will be named either William or Katie.

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Simon added: 'I still can't believe that Guide Dogs receive no government funding and the total cost of a guide dog and blind person partnership is about �50,000. Hopefully we have gone some way to help fund a new guide dog.'

Although Simon's fundraising is now over, you can donate to Guide Dogs for the Blind at www.guidedogs.org.uk

Lions' blindfold walk – Page 49