AN optician from Runcorn is supporting the Northwest Centre for Guide Dogs by providing a loving home to one of its trainee pups.

Deepal Desai, dispensing optician at the Runcorn Specsavers store, is acting as foster mum to Kaysey during 19 weeks of training, which will prepare her for a career as a guide dog, helping those in need to attain the same freedom of movement as everyone else.

The role of boarder is a pivotal role for the charity, providing the dogs with a welcoming and safe environment during the training and acting as the puppy's temporary family.

Without volunteers, the dogs would have to remain in the kennels during the training period, missing out on the love and affection of a full-time owner.

Deepal said: "It's been amazing looking after Kaysey since April, and I'll be continuing to look after her through the summer until she has completed the training in September.

"Knowing I am supporting a dog who will go on to change the life of a blind or partially-sighted person is an amazing feeling and I'd definitely encourage others to do the same!

"Kaysey is a lovely, friendly puppy and I know she will go on to make a great guide dog."

Louise Çaprak, volunteering co-ordinator for boarders at Guide Dogs North West Regional Centre says: ''Boarding is a fantastic opportunity to provide temporary accommodation for our trainee guide dogs during evenings and weekends.

"Boarders care for our training dogs in their own home for around 16-26 weeks, dropping the dog off with us in the morning and collecting them again in the evening from Monday to Friday, then the dog stays with the boarder over the weekend.

"We would like to thank Deepal, and all of our amazing volunteers across a huge variety of roles, for helping us to deliver our life-changing services to people with sight loss.”

To find out how you can get involved or volunteer yourself, visit