A GUIDE dog owner has inspired her craft group to raise money for Guide Dogs Cymru in a creative way.

Cefn Crafters, who meet on Wednesdays at Cefn Fforest Community Centre, raised £1,200 for the charity’s Islwyn group by making clothes, gifts and decorations for their Christmas Fair.

The group was inspired by member Jill Goodwin, who has been visually impaired her entire life; both her and her husband, Derek, own a guide dog.

Refusing to be held back by her sight impairment, Ms Goodwin attends craft sessions each week, guided by her five-year-old yellow Labrador Fifi.

Ms Goodwin knits blankets for young dogs in training, has learnt to make festive wreaths and is currently working on a project to create fabric coasters.

South Wales Argus:

(Jill Goodwin, with guide dog Fifi, works on a coaster with group member Sue Evans)

Sue Evans, who helps to run the group, said: “We have more than 20 members raising money for a different cause every year and we like to choose something local. Jill and Derek attend all our functions and inspired us to choose Guide Dogs.

“The group is so popular we have a waiting list, although we also have a sewing group, Busy Fingers, on the first and third Saturday of the month. We provide the sewing machines and members bring the materials they want to work on.

“Skills include patchwork, crochet, knitting, quilting and cross-stitch. We don’t have teachers, but we help each other and swap patterns.”


Allison Charles, community fundraiser for Guide Dogs Cymru, added: “Jill doesn’t let sight loss get in the way of her creative skills, and thanks to guide dog Fifi she can enjoy the company and advice of other crafters.

“It costs the charity £55,000 to train and support a guide dog during its lifetime, and we rely on donations like this to continue our life-changing work.”

For more information about Guide Dogs Cymry visit