FIVE puppies will be put through guide dog training thanks to fundraisers at M&S in Guiseley.

Staff and customers have raised £25,000 for Guide Dogs - the store’s Charity of the Year. The money will enable the charity to put five puppies through its extensive 12-month training programme. The young dogs will then go on to help people with vision impairments maintain their independence.

Over the last two years staff and customers have raised money through family fun days, guide dog visits to the store, bake sales, tombola’s and raffles. They have also given practical support, cleaning the local Guide Dogs team’s mobile sensory unit and training vans.

The Guiseley store’s charity manager Rachel Croft said they had developed a great relationship with the charity and the guide dog puppy walking team.

She added: “We’re thrilled to have been able to fund the training of five dogs through our charity of the year activity. We’ve even been able to name the dogs and decided on Judith for the first one after a wonderful colleague who sadly passed away.

“Judith the Guide Dog has visited the store and we were able to facilitate our colleague Judith’s family to come and meet her. It was a truly poignant moment for us all. We were delighted when we heard that Judith has now been settled with an owner. We’re so grateful to our customers who helped make this all happen.”

Other names chosen by staff the store include “Guiseley.”

Staff have been able to follow the dogs’ training and are provided with regular progress updates, sometimes even a surprise visit from the dogs themselves.

Charlotte Walton, Community Fundraising Development Officer in West Yorkshire at Guide Dogs UK, said: “The team at M&S Guiseley and their customers have really got behind the partnership and we have had so much fun getting to know everyone over the past year. The huge amount raised is having a big impact, helping us train five puppies which will support the independence of five visually impaired people in the UK.”