VOLUNTEERS are being recruited by Guide Dogs Cymru in Newport to help blind or partially-sighted people become more mobile.

The charity plans to create its third Welsh 'hub' in Newport, which is part of a scheme called My Guide.

My Guide works by matching a trained volunteer with a person who is blind or partially sighted, to help them reach their mobility goal.

The charity’s My Guide Ambassador for Wales, Kylene Rafferty, said: “We will take care to get the right match of personality and interests. For example, a blind or visually impaired person may wish to work towards going to the football every week.

"A volunteer might only give an hour a week, but it needs to be a regular commitment.”

The scheme is already proving popular in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire. Volunteers, who must be aged 18 or over, will receive specialist training.

Ms Rafferty said: “Volunteers say they get great satisfaction from helping a visually impaired person to become more mobile. They are giving something back to their community, and will also learn new skills that they can apply in day-to-day life.

"These are skills that transfer well to the workplace, and the qualifications can be added to a CV.”

The charity will also be holding an event on Thursday, August 28 to give volunteers a chance to find out more about puppy walking.

The charity needs more people in the area to be responsible for the full-time care and education of a guide dog from six weeks old until about 12 months, when they are returned to the charity to begin specialised training.

The young dogs spend much of their first year living with the puppy walker volunteers, who prepare them for the working life ahead.

The Guide Dogs stand will be located near customer services on the first floor at Tesco in Spytty Retail Park in Newport on Thursday, August 28 between 11am and 3pm.

For more information call Steve Kersley on 07785 907728 or email Steve.Kersley@guidedogs.org.uk