‘Dine in dark’ event raises funds for guide dog charity

CHALLENGING Volunteer Michelle Clark gets to grips with eating while blindfolded
CHALLENGING Volunteer Michelle Clark gets to grips with eating while blindfolded
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ATTENDEES at a ‘dine in the dark’ event raised money for a guide dog charity.

Michelle Clark, of Portsea, held the event on behalf of charity Guide Dogs for the Blind at the Watermark restaurant at Port Solent.

The evening saw 23 diners attend and don their blindfolds during the meal for a cost of £20, £10 of which was then donated to the charity, which supports the blind by training and providing guide dogs.

Aside from fundraising, the evening was aimed at helping people understand the challenges that blind people face every day.

Michelle, who has been a volunteer for two and a half years, said: ‘It was a really great evening, everyone really enjoyed it.

‘As soon as the blinfolds went on the atmosphere changed completely.

‘It went very quiet. We found that the conversation was not as free-flowing.

‘I wanted to put some salt and pepper on my dinner and it was hard finding it and being careful not to spill my drink.

‘Blind people live with that every day.’

Michelle and co-organiser Denise Allen worked hard to promote the event before the evening, putting up posters, advertising on Facebook, and even visiting BBC Radio Solent to spread the word.

Aside from the meal there was a tombola and a visit from a guide dog and puppy, with a total of £282 being raised overall.

Michelle, who works in a GP office when not volunteering, explained how she became involved with Guide Dogs for the Blind: ‘I saw an advert so I went along to the local group and it snowballed from there.

‘I now take blind and partially sighted people out walking when they are new to the area or when they have recently lost their guide dog.

‘The charity is great because you can see people out with their guide dogs and see where the money goes. The working life of a guide dog costs £60,000 so every penny that is raised really does help.’

The local Guide Dogs for the Blind group will be holding a Charity Ball in October at the Royal Beach Hotel in Southsea.

Anyone interested should contact Michelle on 07947 911 323 or via email at michelleclark2566@gmail.com