Guide Dogs visited a Wimbledon opticians to celebrate a successful community fundraising campaign.

Specsavers in Wimbledon championed a charity drive, raising nearly £2700 and being awarded the honour of naming Guide Dog puppy Iris – a named picked by local school pupils.

The eyecare experts were joined by fundraising partners St Mary’s Catholic Primary School and Pelham Primary School as they welcomed Guide Dogs ambassador Hilary Leacock and her dog Coco to an in-store celebration.

A word from the store director

Ray Hutchings, store director at Specsavers in Wimbledon, said: ‘We’ve been overwhelmed by the response of the community and are thrilled to have reached our pledge target with their help. As optical experts, Guide Dogs is a cause close to our hearts, but it’s wonderful to see how much they are valued in the community for their life-changing work.’

A word from Guide Dogs

Hilary Leacock, Guide Dogs ambassador, said: ‘Over the last couple of years the Wimbledon and District branch of Guide Dogs has been working very closely with Specsavers to raise awareness of our amazing dogs and what they can do for us. Specsavers has been wonderfully supportive, joining with us to visit local schools and also putting on events at the Wimbledon store. We really appreciate the help and support which we have received and are continuing to receive from Specsavers, and look forward to further collaboration in the future.’

New Wimbledon Theatre and Elys of Wimbledon also supported the campaign.

Guide Dogs has been breeding and training guide dogs for more than 75 years. A guide dog costs around £50,000 throughout its life, and provides priceless mobility and freedom to someone who is blind or partially sighted.

Road Safety Week

Specsavers also presented pupils from St Mary’s and Pelham with high visibility vests at their visit, during Road Safety Week, to raise awareness of the importance of vision and visibility among pedestrians and drivers.

Ray said: ‘Sight is a huge factor in road safety. That’s why we’re calling on our school children to help us set an example to other pedestrians to stay visible to road users in poor light conditions over winter.’

Specsavers is a co-sponsor of Road Safety Week, an initiative from the charity Brake, which ran from 17-23 November, and aims to promote regular eye examinations for drivers and road safety in general.

All Wimbeldon store information

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