YOUNG fundraisers were joined by a special four-legged friend as they found out the difference guide dogs make to their owners.

Year Eight Bolton School girls will be helping to fund the training of guide dogs later in the academic year.

To bring home the importance of what they will be doing they were visited by Toni Forrest and her guide dog Quilla.

They also took part in a special session to find our what it might be like to be visually impaired through a series of challenges, from cutting up food and pouring drinks to copying work from iPads while wearing blindfolds or special glasses.

A spokesman for Bolton School said: “Toni spoke about her loss of sight just before her twenty-first birthday. She talked about the difficulties she had in the beginning and explained what it is really like to live without sight or with partial sight.

“She also explained the huge difference that having a guide dog made to her life. Quilla is her fourth guide dog, and Toni talked about all four of her companions and her close bond with each of them.

She described them as her “car on legs”, allowing her to get around and have independence.

She was able to talk about how she navigates and tells Quilla where she wants to go. She also discussed the huge number of volunteers involved in looking after the dogs as puppies and through their training.”

He added: “This session was a great introduction to raise the girls’ awareness of the importance of guide dogs and how they help blind and partially sighted people.”