IF you’re visually impaired then a guide dog is a life-changer.

But let’s be fair, dogs aren’t great with the latest local news, or sharing recipe ideas, or discussing the latest film you both just went to see.

But that’s the sort of thing Anita Williams can bring to the people she helps in her role as a ‘guide human.’

Actually Anita is a My Guide, the only one in Hereford, and she’s helped change the life of her client and friend, Edris Miller.

The My Guides service is run by the Guide Dogs charity, and it matches volunteer sighted guides with visually impaired people.

Edris had used guide dogs in the past, but decided to apply for a My Guide who could not only guide her but also keep her company and take her to the cinema or theatre.

Edris said: “A guide dog is great, but there’s things they cannot do for you.”

Edris was matched with Anita in March and since then they enjoy several hours together each week.

Activities can vary from walking or a cinema trip to things Edris could never have managed before - like travelling to a UB40 concert in Cardiff.

“Having support from a My Guide volunteer is life-changing really,” Edris said. “It enriches your life and it enables you.

“We’ve got a really good relationship and we’ve become friends through the service.”

Anita, who is also from Hereford, said: “I wanted to do something that I would really enjoy and that would benefit somebody as well.”

“It’s very rewarding for me being a My Guide volunteer, I just love it.

“I don’t know how Edris does what she does, but I think she’s amazing.”

Beth Wise, My Guide Volunteering Manager, said: “We’re currently appealing for people from Herefordshire to get in touch if they need support from the My Guide service or would like to volunteer as a My Guide volunteer.

“The My Guide service is a free service available to people with a visual impairment who are aged 18 or over and volunteers, who must also be 18 or over, are asked to spare just a few hours a week or a fortnight.

To find out more about the My Guide Service in Herefordshire, please contact Guide Dogs Birmingham on 0345 143 0194 or email birmingham@guidedogs.org.uk