Having a guide dog changed David Morton’s life and now he’s keen to spread the word about the charity he feels indebted to.

David, of Lowry Hill, Carlisle, who is city councillor for Belah, has become an official speaker for Guide Dogs, which is marking a national week of awareness until Sunday.

He was registered blind in 1993 with a degenerative disease of the retina, known as retinitis pigmentosa which creates severe tunnel vision, night blindness and, in many cases, total blindness.

“As my sight deteriorated, I began to lose confidence in my own ability to get around, so it is no exaggeration to say that my first guide dog was a life changer. He created a freedom and independence that had been missing for quite some time.

“Now on my second guide dog, I can say without fear of contradiction that having a guide dog has given me a new sense of purpose and direction. I have total faith that he will get me to where I want to be.

“I was so indebted to the charity, that I decided to become a speaker and help spread the word about all the wonderful work that they do. I am really looking forward to sharing the difference that Rebel has made to my life and can’t wait to get out into the local community and make some new friends for Guide Dogs.”

Community fundraiser Anna Lindsay said: “I’m delighted that David will be going out in to the community to tell everyone the heart-warming story of the amazing partnership he has with Rebel and Guide Dogs’ mission to ensure that people with sight loss have the confidence and skills they need to live the life they choose.

“I know how much he is looking forward to receiving invites to local groups and organisations with enthusiasm and excitement.”

David is available to visit schools, community groups and organisations to tell them how his dog has increased his mobility and independence.