Meet Edmund - Bury's own guide dog

A FUTURE guide dog is to be named Edmund in honour of the town where thousands of pounds will be raised for its training.

Laurence Cawley

A FUTURE guide dog is to be named Edmund in honour of the town where thousands of pounds will be raised for its training.

Members of the Bury St Edmunds branch of Guide Dogs for the Blind want to raise £5,000 to buy the puppy, which they plan to name “Edmund” as a mark of respect to the town, which has already provided hundreds of thousands of pounds in charity money over the years.

Bryan Garnham, of the group, said: “We really want to buy a puppy and give it to a blind person. The £5,000 would pay for all of its training - they all get trained from the puppy stage these days - and it would be lovely to name the dog Edmund. We want to call it Edmund in recognition of the generous support that we have received from the Bury area throughout the years.”

But he warned Edmund, once bought, would probably not be seen around the town very often.

“It would have to be with somebody outside the town because if it was known in the town people would want to stroke it and say 'hello' and that might distract it from its job.”

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However, Edmund would still be able to make the occasional trip to Bury for official events as the group's mascot.

Mr Garnham, who became interested in helping the blind after seeing a man tapping a wall with a stick when he was a boy, said blind dogs made a huge difference to the lives of the visually impaired.

Since it was founded 27 years ago, the branch has raised more than £400,000 for the visually impaired.

The branch is also seeking new members to join the effort. Mr Garnham said: “Some of the members have been with us since it was founded and most of us are senior. What we need is some young blood - we could always do with some new members.”

Anybody interested in joining should contact Mr Garnham on 01284 787390.

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