PEOPLE in Wrexham and the Vale of Clwyd will step out to raise funds in memory of Wales’s original guide dog.

Sponsored walks at both Alyn Waters and Ty Mawr Country Parks in September will round off a series of events for Guide Dogs Cymru in honour of Folly, a female German Shepherd.

She was one of the first four guide dogs ever trained in the UK and became the eyes of Bangor-born Thomas ap Rhys, a blinded former soldier, in 1931.

Thomas’ life was transformed when he was paired with his guide dog.

He wrote: “With Folly, I do not mind walking at the fastest pace or even running with her.”

Thomas continued to use guide dogs for the next 48 years and died in 1978, aged 81.

Guide Dogs Cymru has set a target of £10,000 to name a new puppy in memory of Folly.

Jacquie Hughes-Jones, community fundraiser for Guide Dogs Cymru, said: “North Wales is proud to be linked to one of the UK’s first four guide dogs, and our supporters want to make sure Folly is never forgotten.

“It’s great that people living Wrexham and the Vale of Clwyd are joining the project. We’ll be bringing our guide dogs and pet dogs on the walks, raising money and celebrating the bond between dog and owner.

“People of all ages and abilities are welcome to join us.”

Walks have already taken place in Prestatyn and Llandudno, with another scheduled for Caernarfon on Tuesday, August 29.

The walk at Alyn Waters Country Park starts at 2pm on Saturday, September 2, with the final leg at Ty Mawr Country Park at 11am on Saturday, September 30.

For more details and a sponsorship form, ring Guide Dogs Cymru on 0345 143 0195 or email