VOLUNTEERS at Drakelow Tunnels helped to raise £300 for retired police dogs by giving visitors a rare glimpse inside the former Second World War Government shadow factory.

One hundred and forty people were shown around the Wolverley site over Easter weekend, raising much needed funds for the newly-set up Retired West Midlands Police Dog Benevolent Fund.

Volunteers are currently helping to renovate the complex and bring it back to its former 1980s state, when it was used in the Cold War as a nuclear bunker, and were keen to show people the work they have been doing.

The Drakelow group donated £300 out of £398 they made on the day to the police dog fund.

Terry Grove, a committee member for the fund who is due to take up the role of treasurer, took along a nine-month-old police dog in training, Monty, to give people an idea of the kind of animals they would be helping.

Mr Grove said: "It's primarily a fund to make sure that when police dogs retire, we can provide support to their handlers and the people that take them in. You can't get insurance for police dogs so we created this fund to de-risk the taking in of these dogs.

"We're now supporting about 20 police dogs. Police dogs can work from 15 months old up to nine years and they could be retired earlier due to injury. They don't get a pension yet they put their lives on the line.

"It's a significant amount to raise in one day. The group took that out of their collection and it's really good of them"

The Drakelow Tunnels volunteers hope to continue giving any profits from future open days to selected local charities.

The police dog fund needs about £5,000 a year to help pay veterinary bills for retired police dogs and is currently seeking charity status.

For more information visit retiredwmpd.org.uk