Campaigning mum asks hometown to lend its support

LEAD ON Samantha Heaton with daughter Daisy and Tango. (D534C319)
LEAD ON Samantha Heaton with daughter Daisy and Tango. (D534C319)
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A mum who is losing her sight is urging people in her hometown to support national campaigns to make day-to-day life better for blind people.

Sam Heaton was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa – a degenerative eye condition – at the age of 23.

Samantha Heaton is a new guide dog owner. She is supporting a campaigning by Guide Dogs for the Blind to encourage people to think about guide dog users when parking on pavements and cluttering shopping areas with A boards and seating. Samantha with her guide dog Tango and her daughter Daisy. (D534A319)

Samantha Heaton is a new guide dog owner. She is supporting a campaigning by Guide Dogs for the Blind to encourage people to think about guide dog users when parking on pavements and cluttering shopping areas with A boards and seating. Samantha with her guide dog Tango and her daughter Daisy. (D534A319)

Ten years on, she has just 10 per cent of her eyesight left and is helped to get around by her guide dog Tango.

Sam, of Burgh Mill Lane, Dewsbury Moor, said having a guide dog had made a huge difference to family life.

“I did a bit of cane training, but it wasn’t for me,” she said.

“I thought I would try a guide dog and it’s worked.

“Before I used to be really eye-strained, but I can read to the kids in the evening now. It’s little things like that that other people might take for granted.”

And to show her thanks, the 33-year-old is backing national campaigns run by Guide Dogs for the Blind and other sight charities.

Sam said: “I want to give a bit back. Tango has made such an impact already.

“We’re not all in a position to contribute financially, but supporting a campaign just costs a little time.

“I’m hoping to find more like-minded people in the area who want to do the same.”

Current campaigns include encouraging travel companies to introduce talking buses, urging the Government to introduce new legislation around attacks on guide dogs, and calling for the introduction of audible sounds on the quietest cars.

Contact the charity’s Leeds office on 0845 372 7418 or visit www.guidedogs.org.uk to find out more.