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MP takes blindfolded walk around Ipswich town centre for Take the Lead campaign

PUBLISHED: 21:32 12 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:11 13 August 2018

Helen Sismore, from Guide Dogs UK, helps MP Sandy Martin on his blindfold walk Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL

Helen Sismore, from Guide Dogs UK, helps MP Sandy Martin on his blindfold walk Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL

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MP Sandy Martin took part in a blindfolded walk around Ipswich’s town centre last week to experience the challenges faced by people who are blind or visually impaired.

The walk was in support of Take the Lead, a campaign looking to encourage responsible dog ownership and to prevent their pets attacking guide dogs.

Mr Martin was guided around the town by Helen Sismore, community engagement officer at Guide Dogs UK.

“We want to make sure people can appreciate some of the difficulties blind and partially sighted people have to face every day, said Mr Martin.

“It was actually very reassured by how confident I felt when I was holding to Helen’s elbow.

Mr Martin was guided through the town centre by Helen Sismore, from Guide Dogs UK Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCILMr Martin was guided through the town centre by Helen Sismore, from Guide Dogs UK Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL

“It shows just how much difference it must make to have a guide dog.

“The second thing that sticks out is how difficult it is to get around the advertising A-frames because you never know where they are going to be.”

Alice Firbank, Take the Lead co-ordinator, said: “This event was a key part of our campaign, and showed the challenges visually impaired individuals face when navigating around the town centre.

“It also emphasises how important a guide dog is to its owner, and why it is so important to help keep them safe.

MP Sandy Martin with Helen Sismore, from Guide Dogs UK Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCILMP Sandy Martin with Helen Sismore, from Guide Dogs UK Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL

“I want to thank Sandy Martin for taking part – we all learned a lot from the blindfold walk.”

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