Guide Dogs for the Blind Association is a charity which trains dogs to be the eyes of the blind and partially sighted. Every hour someone goes blind and this often leads to complete isolation and the person never going out alone. Guide Dogs aim is to train as many dogs as possible to give these people back their independence. A dog usually works until it is around nine years old and costs about £50,000. Once someone is given a dog it will always be replaced and that means someone who has had a dog from an early age, on average will have eight dogs equalling £400,000.
Guide Dogs receive no public funding so without volunteers, donations, sponsorship and bequests none of these dogs would exist.
Locally we are looking for Puppy Walkers and fundraisers.
Puppy Walking involves taking a seven week old pup into your home for about a year to prepare it for its future role. Support and training are given by regular monthly visits from a member of staff who will answer your questions however trivial they may seem and help you solve problems. It is a time consuming occupation but so enjoyable as we take the pups everywhere we go and everyone is so friendly. We joke that we don't go for an hour shop when we go to the supermarket but a day out! There are classes where you do meet other Puppy Walkers; you don't have to attend but we've made a whole new circle of friends of all ages by going. Food and vets' bills are paid and if you go abroad or really can't take a pup with you another puppy walker will be asked to board it so no kennelling worries.
Fundraisers are needed to do shop collections, stalls at fetes, put a collection box in a local shop/club/office, arrange a quiz night at a local pup, organise a coffee morning or anything to raise money on our behalf.
We also give talks in school and to adult and youth groups.
If you have time to spare and are interested in any of this please feel free to ring :-
Maidstone Mobility Team number which is 0845 372 7422.
www.guidedogs.org.uk and follow the link to volunteering.