More than £600 has been raised by the Lanark opticians for two local charities.

Blindfolded two mile walk

Specsavers organised a ‘blind walk’ to raise money for Lockhart Hospital and Guide Dogs Scotland. Staff were split into pairs to negotiate a course from the store on the High Street to Lanark Loch and back.

With one of the team members blindfolded, it was up to their partner to help them navigate the two-mile route, giving staff an idea of the difficulties faced by those that are blind or partially sighted.

Big Success

Store director, Rubena Kerr, said: ‘Our blind walk fundraiser for Lockhart Hospital and Guide Dogs Scotland has been a big success.

‘The money raised through sponsorship by staff, friends and customers will help these fantastic charities continue with their incredible work.

‘The sponsored walk sounded simple and straightforward but once the blindfold was on we quickly realised how dependent we are on our sight – it was a nerve-wracking experience.

‘We are incredibly grateful to the people who took part and to those who came along to support us, as well as everyone who helped us raise funds for the charity. Lockhart Hospital in particular is such a vital healthcare facility for people in the Lanark area including many of our staff and friends and family over the years.’

Raising awareness and funds

The Specsavers team spent time chatting to locals on the High Street throughout the day to help raise awareness of the important work of both charities. Three guide dogs also visited the store and were a huge hit with customers.

Staff then continued to add to the total with collection tins in store before presenting the cheques to representatives from both charities.

Audrey Smith, clinical nurse manager at Lockhart Hospital, said: ‘All our staff at Lockhart Hospital and Friends of Lockhart Hospital are absolutely delighted with the donation we received from Specsavers in Lanark.

‘The money will be put to good use and will benefit our patients and their families.’

Lockhart is a 30-bed community hospital providing care for acute medical patients, as well as rehabilitation and terminal care.

Valuable experience

Ann Hamilton, volunteer puppy walker with Guide Dogs Scotland, said: ‘I visit organisations all over the area to raise awareness of just how important a guide dog can be for someone who is blind or partially sighted.

‘It’s fantastic to have the support of Specsavers in Lanark and we are very grateful for its donation. Holding a sponsored blind walk is a great way to gain a small insight into what it is like to travel around the area without relying on your sight.’

Guide Dogs Scotland provides blind or partially sighted people with a guide dog to help greatly improve their quality of living. Money raised for the charity not only helps to train future guide dogs, but allows the charity to work closely with the new owners and provide them with all the essential items they will need and financial assistance to cover food and veterinary bills.

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