A DISTRICT charity branch is bidding to keep up the momentum after a record-breaking year of fundraising in 2023.

Guide Dogs - Ledbury and Malvern flew past the 2022 total with £42,000 as its group co-ordinator paid tribute to the efforts of volunteers and the support of partners.

The funds go to the Guide Dogs charity to help people with sight loss live the life they choose.

Ledbury and Malvern branch organiser Debbie Pitts said: "I co-ordinate the group's activities by arranging fundraising events such as collections, fetes and open days with our trade stand and work closely with groups, businesses and individuals raising money through our popular Name A Puppy scheme.

"We also carry our many talks to schools and community groups, raising awareness of the work carried out by the Guide Dogs charity.

"2023 was a record-breaking year for us, testament to the hard work of local volunteers and support from partners.

"£42,000 has been raised which was £12,000 more than 2022.

"It's outstanding the way everybody has pulled together and to achieve that end result is amazing.

"Some of our partners for 2023 were Malvern Town Council, Morrisons, Matalan, Busfest (a major VW Transporter festival), the Three Counties Showground, Co-op Ledbury and Tesco Ledbury and the local group of visually-impaired morris dancers So Xsighted Morris.

"We have already raised £3,500 this year with a calendar featuring our local dogs making £560.

"It would be lovely if we could find some more businesses in the area to do the Name A Puppy scheme. It helped to raise 50 per cent of last year's total."

Town councillor Nick Houghton said: "It was a pleasure working with Debbie and her team of volunteers from Guide Dogs - Ledbury and Malvern during my second year as Malvern mayor.

"The team at the council led by Linda Blake raised £12.5k, a record-breaking amount for the mayoral charity, and have named two Guide Dog pups under the Name A Puppy scheme. They are Nessa and Elgar."

Antony Hornby, community champion at Morrisons in Malvern, said: "We work closely with Guide Dogs – Ledbury and Malvern group.

"In 2023 a total of £3,742.18 was raised through bucket collections and £2,500 towards us naming a puppy Mori."

For more information on the Ledbury and Malvern group, email Debbie at gdledburymalvern@gmail.com.

It can also be found on Facebook and donations are always welcome at www.justgiving.com/guidedogsledbury627.