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Test drive a guide dog in Central Sussex

Test drive a guide dog

Residents are invited to 'test drive a guide dog' at Ashenground Community Centre, Haywards Heath, as charity Guide Dogs appeals for volunteers, helping to support a range of exciting fundraising opportunities (Saturday, 23 February between 10:30am and 12:30pm).

Guide Dogs is launching its Central Sussex fundraising branch, covering Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Ardingly, Balcombe, Handcross, Cuckfield, Lindfield, Hustpierpoint, Hassocks, Ditchling and Barcombe .

During the launch, participants will have the chance to be blindfolded, and guided around an obstacle course by one of the charity’s specially trained dogs.

Pamela Mills, Guide Dogs' regional fundraising manager said: "For people with sight loss, a simple walk down the street is a daunting challenge. Cars parked on pavements, wheelie bins blocking walkways; obstacles and dangers are everywhere if you can’t see what’s in front of you. "The blindfolded walk puts it into context. A typical reaction on completion of the course is that the experience was both daunting and exhilarating. Most importantly, there is a greater appreciation of the everyday challenges faced by those with sight loss."

The charity needs volunteers to join its new Central Sussex branch, and get involved in local fundraising activities. There are a number of ways people can help; from organising events, to street collections, fetes and coffee mornings.

Guide Dogs also needs volunteer drivers to transport guide dog owners to local fundraising events.

The Central Sussex launch will be taking place at Ashenground Community Centre, Southdown Close, Vale Road, Haywards Heath RH16 4JR. Light refreshments will be served.

For additional information please call Guide Dogs’ branch organiser Mike Cohen on 01444 459352 or email