Students get lesson in blindness

YOUNGSTERS got to grips with what it would be like to be blind - and were shocked by the difficulties they encountered.

YOUNGSTERS got to grips with what it would be like to be blind - and were shocked by the difficulties they encountered.

Puppy walker Penny Parker took trainee guide dog Star along to Deben High School in Felixstowe to do an assembly on the work of the Guide Dogs for the Blind charity.

A course was set up in the hall of chairs and obstacles and another guide dog led a visually impaired man through the maze of objects, showing how skilled the dogs are at guiding their owners and avoiding crashing into items.

Pupils were then blindfolded and asked to walk around the course - relying on others to shout out which way they should go.

“They couldn't believe how difficult it was,” said Mrs Parker, part of the of the charity's East and Mid Suffolk fundraising group.

“The students thought they would probably remember most of where they had to walk but once they got the blindfold on they found it was very disorientating being unable to see and hard even to follow left and right instructions.

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“It was quite a shock to them and I think it made them really appreciate what people with sight problems have to deal with.

“The assembly was very successful and they all seemed to enjoy learning about the work of the dogs.”

Deben headteacher Rob Cawley was so impressed with the assembly he has asked Mrs Parker to return and do several more for other year groups.

Forms at the school in Garrison Lane have chosen to support the Evening Star's appeal to raise money for Star's training as a guide dog as their charity for the year and are organising a variety of activities.

Treasure boxes and ink cartridge collecting points have also been put around the school so pupils and staff can support the cause.

The appeal has so far raised about �16,000 - enough to pay for Star and second guide dog puppy, which will be born this year and called Hope.

Has your family been helped by the Guide Dogs - tell us your stories about this amazing charity: write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail


The fundraising for the vital work of Guide Dogs continues - as we aim to raise as much as possible for the charity's work.

We want the whole community to get involved and if you are organising a fundraising event for the appeal, then we want to hear so we can give it maximum publicity and help boost the amount raised.

So let us know what you are up to - get in touch with Richard Cornwell at the Felixstowe Newsdesk on 01394 284109 or the Ipswich Newsdesk on 01473 324788.

To donate to the appeal, please send cheques - made payable to the Guide Dogs - to Richard Cornwell, Evening Star, 172 Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, IP11 7DU.

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