The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (known as Guide Dogs) has been expertly breeding and training guide dogs for over 80 years and has provided dogs to thousands of blind and partially sighted people.
There are currently 4,800 working guide dog partnerships in the UK and more than 1,300 puppies are recruited each year. Guide dog owners only have to pay a nominal 50p for their dog to ensure no-one is prevented from having one due to a lack of funds. The full ‘lifetime cost’ of a guide dog from birth to retirement is around £50,000.* The guide dog service receives no government funding and so the charity is completely reliant on voluntary donations and legacy income.
Guide Dogs provides help to thousands of blind and partially sighted people across the UK through the provision of guide dogs, mobility and other rehabilitation services. They also campaign for the rights of those with visual impairments and invest in eye disease research.
The IOM branch attempts to raise enough funds to cover the costs of guide dogs on the Island. No training is conducted on the Island but all efforts are focused on recruiting volunteers and planning fundraising activities to support as many people with sight loss as possible.
Business Development Manager, Stephen Colderwood, said: “Abacus’ Corporate Responsibility Strategy is to support local charities which help and improve the quality of life of people living in our communities. A group of staff members organises and develops an assortment of fundraising initiatives throughout the year, raising money for the charity of each quarter as well as some others in additional ad-hoc fundraising events.”
“The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association IOM is a worthy charity that does so much work other than just providing mobility and freedom to blind and partially sighted people. Their work extends to educating the general public about eye care, campaigning for the rights of people with visual impairment and funding eye disease research, which benefits everyone. We are more than happy to support such a worthwhile charity.”
If you are blind or partially sighted, a guide dog could really change your life.
* source: www.guidedogs.org.uk
Image: (L-R) Lorraine Boyd, Stephen Colderwood and Alison Cowin from Abacus are donating a cheque to Mrs Jane Shutt, Secretary at Guide Dogs for the Blind Association IOM