BROMSGROVE Cobbler Martin Connellan, who woke up when he was six years old struggling to see, has raised more than £2,500 to Guide Dogs for the Blind, thanks to donations from customers.
The charity is a cause close to Martin’s heart because of that day in his childhood which led to him suffering extreme short-sightedness throughout his life.
Ever since then he has raised funds for the blind charity.
He said: “The optician used to say to me making my glasses was the worst prescription he had to do.
“I know what it is like to have sight loss which is why I’ve always wanted to help.
“None of us want to be blind but you really need help if it happens.
“Guide dogs make such a difference to the lives of those suffering with blindness.”
Martin said whenever he or his staff undertook small jobs, such as putting holes in leather belts, rather than charging customers he asked them to put a donation in one of the boxes – a large guide dog outside shop or a smaller one on his counter.
Because of his contribution towards training a puppy he gets the chance to name the dog and we at the Standard have teamed up with him to give our readers the chance to come up with suggestions for what the dog will be called.
Miles Northwood, the Guide Dogs’ local community fund-raising development officer, said: “We’d like to say a big thank you to all the staff at the Bromsgrove Cobbler for this donation.
“It costs around £60,000 to support a guide dog from birth to retirement and Guide Dogs relies almost entirely on public donations, so we are really grateful for businesses, like the Bromsgrove Cobbler, for supporting us.”
Anyone wanting to put suggestions forward for the puppy’s name should email firstname.lastname@example.org before a week on Friday, November 1.
This month the charity is running its ‘Pups to Partnerships’ appeal to raise enough funds for the lifetime costs of seven guide dog partnerships and is hoping as many people as possible will help raise funds for the campaign.
Visit guidedogs.org.uk/pups-to-partnerships for more information.