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A girl’s best friend
Friday 24th January 2014 @ 11:09 by Lisa B

Diane1Diane Lair and her guard dog Eleanor are constant companions – even at Glossop Swimming Pool.

“She doesn’t go in for a swim,” said Diane, with a smile. “She just sits in reception while I do.”

Diane admits she would be lost without her lovable black labrador who has been with her for four years.

That’s why she is supporting a campaign by Guide Dogs for the Blind Glossop to raise cash to train more dogs.

“She’s a real trouper, a star, my best friend,” said Diane, 46, who lives in Padfield.

“She comes everywhere with me. I go to adult education classes, to Padfield Women’s Institute, everywhere.

“Guide dogs give people their independence, give them confidence.”

Eleanor is Diane’s second guide dog, her first was golden retriever Bekka, who although retired, still lives with her.

“Some guide dogs can be nervous, – loud noises, like fireworks going off, can frighten them.”

Diane has been registered blind for 13 years.

She suffers from an hereditary condition which resulted in her eyesight getting progressively worse.

Which is why she depends so much on a dog which is a fully trained professional doing her job.

Guide Dogs for the Blind Glossop wants more dogs like Eleanor, but training a blind person’s ‘eyes’ costs thousands of pounds.

The group, which has been set up for a few months, is planning  a range of fundraisers, including coffee mornings and craft fairs.

It’s looking for people to help organise them, help at events, join the committee, or come up with ways of generating cash.

COMPANION: Diane with her faithful friend Eleanor

COMPANION: Diane with her faithful friend Eleanor

Other opportunities include taking part in runs on behalf of the group,  or becoming a collection box co-ordinator.

This includes putting  boxes in suitable locations, emptying them every two-three months, banking the income or passing the funds on to the branch treasurer.

David Clough, Guide Dogs volunteer consultant, said: “Joining a fundraising group is a wonderful opportunity for someone to make a difference to their community.

“They’ll have the opportunity to build experience, meet people and help support Guide Dogs.”

To find out more, call David on 07785 433265, email [email protected], or by visit

by David Jones