A MAN from Winchester who is visually-impaired has spoken of his upset after he was bumped into by students on three occasions while walking with his guide dog.

Elliot Reynolds, who is legally blind, was walking on Stockbridge Road on January 5 with his guide dog, Caddy, towards the city centre after getting off the bus when he was bumped into by groups of Winchester students.

Mr Reynolds said: “I was heading along Stockbridge Road towards town after getting off the number three bus from the back of the train station. I walked under the tunnel and headed to the cross roads with my Guide Dog.

“I am legally blind and I have had my guide dog for the last two and half years. So between me coming out the other side of the tunnel and reaching the crossroads I was bashed into three times by groups of students. One of them bashed me pretty hard.

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“Things like this can really knock my confidence and is it too much to ask for people to give myself and my guide dog who was in full harness space to get by? None of the groups of students seemed bothered that they had bashed into me.

“So if you see someone with an assistance dog please give them space to get by.”

Mark Sanderson, deputy director of operations at Guide Dogs South West, said: “We are concerned to hear that one of our guide dog owners has had this negative experience while out in their local community.

“Fortunately these incidents are rare but they can have a damaging impact on someone’s confidence and independence.

“Our local team will provide support to Mr Reynolds and we would urge the public to please be considerate if they see someone walking with a white cane or guide dog.”

Mr Reynolds, who lives in Winnall, got Caddy from the Reading Guide Dogs team and has had him for two and a half years.

About his condition, he said: "I have been vision impaired from birth although it has got worse over the last few years with the possibilty of going conpletely blind at any time. I am registered as blind although I do have some vision in my left eye and almost none in my right eye. I am also deaf in one ear and wear a hearing aid."

He posted about the incident on a Winchester Facebook group and received lots of comments supporting him.

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One lady commented: “I actually witnessed one group of teenagers bash right into you, I was shocked to see this happen. I was unable to do anything as I was passenger in a car passing by. I’m so sorry to see this has happened to you.

“I hope you and your dog are ok. Total lack of respect for anyone let alone someone who is walking with a guide dog. Don’t let this get you down.”

Elliot replied: “Thank you for your kind words. Sad to say I am pretty used to being barged into by people not looking where they are going but three times in a few minutes takes the biscuit.”