You may well have heard of Guide Dogs, we’re a national charity working to ensure that people with a visual impairment do not lose their independence. There are around 2 million people in the UK living with sight loss, and all experience a different level of vision and mobility. We offer a range of mobility services to help people keep their independence, and have an amazing number of dedicated staff, volunteers, and of course, dogs who support the Guide Dogs mission.
Guide Dogs needs volunteers who can help look after and support the training of our guide dog puppies! This is a full-time volunteering role as the puppy would live with you, and you would be providing the puppy with a vital foundation for its future role as a guide dog for someone living with sight loss. Training and ongoing support is provided by Guide Dogs and your Puppy Training Supervisor, and all food and vets bills are paid for.
Puppy Training Supervisor, Jo, says “Volunteering as a Puppy Walker for Guide Dogs in Devon is an invaluable first stepping stone to enabling more blind and partially sighted people get out and about in the way they choose. Puppies are placed with Puppy Walkers from 7 weeks of age and will be looked after until they enter training at 14-16 months of age. Guide Dog puppy classes are a beneficial way to meet fellow volunteers and puppies so you do not feel isolated along your puppy walking journey, so come along and join in the fun of developing a small puppy on its incredible journey to be a fully qualified Guide Dog.”
Puppy Walking Volunteers, Maria and Robert, say " When we applied to be puppy walkers we never anticipated loving this role as much as we do. We’re currently walking pup number 4 and can honestly say that we’re addicted to it! It's so much more than just a cute bundle of fluff - seeing what a difference it makes to the guide dog owners that we’ve met whilst puppy walking is the reason we continue to love it. We get updates on pup’s progress in training when they leave us, and when the pup is eventually matched with their guide dog owner and they say thank you it’s worth a pot of gold! "
To find out more about puppy walking with Guide Dogs or any other volunteering opportunities, visit www.guidedogs.org.uk/volunteer or give the volunteering office a call on 0345 143 0191.