The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association needs volunteers to help improve the confidence and independence of people with a visual impairment. Some of those hoping for a volunteer have been waiting for several months, so getting involved could really help change someone’s life.
My Guide is a service that Guide Dogs offers whereby a trained, sighted guide, is partnered with someone with sight loss. My Guides accompany service users to facilitate tasks such as running errands, practicing everyday routes, using public transport, or going to the gym to build confidence in these areas.
Serge Chapman, My Guide Volunteer Manager, says “When someone loses their sight, the world can become smaller and it’s easy to lose confidence and become isolated. Matching someone with a My Guide volunteer can be so transformative; a volunteer can help someone to regain confidence and connect again with the wider world. It is truly amazing what can be achieved.”
Jan, a volunteer in Exeter says, “I decided to train as a My Guide as I had some free time to give back to the community. Having completed the training and being partnered with Suzanne, we have forged a great friendship and we work together very well as a team. Personally, it has given me the opportunity to see life from a different perspective and to understand the challenges that people with little or no sight have to overcome. I'm glad I have been able to help Suzanne get out and about and become more active in the lovely area that we live in.”
Guide Dogs provides full training for all volunteers. To apply, go to the Guide Dogs website (https://www.guidedogs.org.uk/) and click on Volunteering or call the South West Team on 0345 143 0204.