Fund-raisers are top dogs

Byrchall High School have raised �5,000 to help buy and train a guide dog for the blind.'Ben the Labrador puppy came to visit with district fund-raiser Diane Moore pictured with some of the pupils LTR Robyn Johnstone, Lucy Thompson, Ryan O'Neill, Jake Ashall, and Sam Littler.

Byrchall High School have raised �5,000 to help buy and train a guide dog for the blind.'Ben the Labrador puppy came to visit with district fund-raiser Diane Moore pictured with some of the pupils LTR Robyn Johnstone, Lucy Thompson, Ryan O'Neill, Jake Ashall, and Sam Littler.

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KIND-HEARTED students have a new furry friend after raising a record amount for one of the borough’s best loved charities.

Pupils at Byrchall High School in Ashton amassed more than £5,000 for Guide Dogs after choosing to sponsor one of the charity’s puppies.

The cash will be used to help 15-week-old labrador Ben learn skills to help blind and partially-sighted people before he undergoes intensive training at Guide Dogs school in Atherton.

District fund-raiser Diane Moore said: “This is a huge amount for a school to raise and will be a massive help for Guide Dogs. The school has worked really hard to raise £5,000 and the students were delighted to get to meet Ben before the end of term.

“It is certainly one of the highest amounts a school has raised for the charity. The money will be used to put Ben through puppy walking with one of our volunteers before he undergoes training at the centre in Atherton.”

Students at Byrchall High School wore sunglasses for the day to raise cash for Guide Dogs as well as staging cake sales and non-uniform days.

The Guide Dog Training Centre was built in the summer of 2009 and was officially opened by Princess Alexandra.

The modern, purpose-built school allows the charity to train an increased number of first-rate guide dogs to help more blind and partially-sighted people get around independently.

The school trains dogs from 14 months to learn skills such as walking down the centre of a pavement and avoiding obstacles.

The dogs then go to one of the charity’s 28 district teams across the country for final training and matching with a blind or partially-sighted person.

The school features an indoor all-weather training area and an outdoor area featuring permanent street obstacles, essential for training dogs to guide on busy streets.

It is also home to Guide Dogs’ fund-raising and volunteering team, replacing the previous building in Bolton which was in use for 50 years.

The charity is now looking for puppy walkers in Wigan to help train guide dogs from six-weeks to 12 months, before the animals undergo training at Guide Dogs centre in Atherton. To volunteer call 0845 371 7771.