MP to take a blindfold walk for good cause

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ANDY Burnham is to take a walk in the dark to raise awareness of the problems faced by people who have lost their sight.

The Leigh MP will undertake a blindfold walk with a guide dog this Friday at an event which is part of Guide Dogs Week 2012, which runs from October 6 to 14.

Mr Burnham, who will be embarking on the walk in Leigh town centre, said: “It can be a daily challenge for blind and partially sighted people to go out independently and undertake all the activities that fully sighted people take for granted.

“The public at large can help in very simple ways by ensuring that walkways are kept clear. Cutting back overhanging trees and bushes pushing back bins and not parking on the pavement can make a huge difference.”

At the event, the former shadow education secretary will experience what it is like to work a guide dog and will be joined by members of the Atherton Guide Dog Training School and volunteer group Puppy Trainers.

Sue Richardson, manager of the school, said: “We are committed to ensuring that all blind and partially-sighted people can enjoy the same freedom of movement as everybody else.

“But the reality is that they have to overcome extraordinary challenges every day to get out and about in the way that most of us take for granted.

“By undertaking this blindfold walk, Mr Burnham will get an opportunity to experience some of these difficulties and at the same time bringing awareness to the ways in which guide dogs help visually impaired people become more mobile.”

For information about volunteering for guide dogs contact 0845 371 7771 or email volunteer@guidedogs.org.uk