THE Mayor of Sedgefield Borough was left in the dark by his latest charity fundraising effort this week.

Coun David Newell has already donated hundreds of pounds to St Dunstans, which provides care for members of the armed services who are blinded and injured in action. His latest venture helped to pinpoint everyday problems facing people with no or partial sight.

Wearing a blindfold, he showed his support for the Guide Dogs Safer Streets campaign.

The campaign has been organised the Guide Dogs Association, and Coun Newell was stepping his way carefully along a busy route from Dean Bank to Ferryhill town centre.

Coun Newell joined forces with Gavin Atkins, of Darlington, and his guide dog Carter under the supervision of Andrew Leon, of the Guide Dog Association.

The group encountered everyday obstacles such as litter bins, seats, cars parked over footpaths and the hazards of crossing busy roads.

Coun Newell said: "Guide dogs are trained to navigate these obstacles, but what was apparent to me was that it will help greatly if we all take more care in where we park and put potential hazards."

Two years ago Coun Newell raised more than £1,800 for the same charity by wearing a blindfold for a week. Prime Minister Tony Blair started the event by making the first donation.