An appeal for volunteers in Gloucester has been launched by Guide Dogs.

The sight loss charity is looking for people who can provide a loving home to a guide dog puppy for the first year of their life.

It is also seeking volunteers who can help in Cheltenham. 

Guide Dogs needs 20 new homes in the area for its guide dog puppies and the charity will cover the cost of all the food, veterinary care and equipment that is required.

Volunteer ‘Puppy Raisers’ at the charity are vital for the early socialisation and education of guide dogs. They teach the puppies basic commands and help them get used to the outside world.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Guide Dogs is looking for volunteers (Guide Dogs)Guide Dogs is looking for volunteers (Guide Dogs)

Puppy Raisers take on puppies when they are about seven weeks old, looking after them until they reach around 12-16 months of age. After this period, the dogs go to a training centre to begin their specialised training.  

Kimberley King, a Puppy Development Advisor for Guide Dogs, who covers Gloucestershire, said: “This is a great opportunity for people in Gloucester, Cheltenham and surrounding areas to raise a guide dog puppy, helping to prepare a pup for their future role supporting someone with sight loss.

 “It’s a long-term volunteering role, as each pup will live with you for at least a year.

“We’ll provide all the training required and the support you need, so you feel well equipped to care for your pup as they grow and develop.

“If you’re from the area and think you could give a loving, temporary home to a guide dog pup, please do get in touch.”

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Volunteers will need to be 18 or over (Guide Dogs)Volunteers will need to be 18 or over (Guide Dogs)

How to volunteer for Guide Dogs

To become a volunteer you must be 18 or over and have suitable housing.

Caring for a puppy is a full-time commitment and you must be able to give a guide dog puppy the love and attention they deserve.

If you’d like to apply, you must have the ability to access online content and training materials and have an email address.

To find out more, contact Guide Dogs Volunteering Coordinator for Gloucestershire, Michelle Parsons, via, call 0800 781 1444 or visit the Guide Dogs website.