How To Help
How To Support A Guide Dogs Charity
There are roughly two million people in the UK living with sight loss. Of this number, around 360,000 are registered as blind or partially sighted. Guide dogs provide a vital lifeline for thousands of visually impaired people across the UK, and this incredible service couldn’t exist without guide dogs charities.
WHY VOLUNTEER WITH A GUIDE DOGS CHARITY?
Guide dogs enable blind and partially sighted people to enjoy increased independence and live fuller, richer lives. However, there is a high cost involved, with each dog costing around £55,000 from birth to retirement. Guide dogs charities couldn't function without the help of dedicated volunteers.
Volunteering for a guide dogs charity is a great way to make a difference in the lives of blind and partially sighted people, and there are plenty of different ways you can get involved. The challenge of trying something new can be a great way to grow in confidence, enhance your CV and learn new skills, and you're sure to feel rewarded by the joy of giving back.
HOW TO HELP GUIDE DOGS CHARITIES
Sponsor A Puppy
More than a thousand puppies are born each year with the intention that they'll go on to become guide dogs. Donations are needed to provide for the puppies' care and to help fund the extensive training they need in order to qualify as service dogs. With charities such as The Guide Dogs For The Blind Association offering you the chance to sponsor a guide dog puppy, this can be a great opportunity for you to make a meaningful contribution.
Foster A Puppy
Before young dogs go into full-time training, they need to be reared from birth. You can play a vital part in the early development and socialisation of guide dog puppies by providing them with a loving home, allowing them to take their first steps in a positive environment. If you'd prefer to look after an adult dog, you could volunteer to take responsibility for a female, taking care of her and perhaps even supporting her as she births her puppies.
Get Involved With Training
If you have experience or a keen interest in training dogs, your skills could be invaluable to a guide dogs charity. You'll probably have to go through extensive training yourself to learn all the different techniques and exercises required, but a role like this is great if you want to work closely with animals.
Rehome A Guide Dog
When guide dogs are retired or withdrawn from service, they need a new, loving home to go to. Adopting a dog should never be taken lightly, but you may find that rehoming a service dog means you end up with a highly trained and obedient new member of the family. Alternatively, you could consider looking after a stud dog who is used for breeding guide dog puppies.
Become A Sighted Guide
Learning to depend on an animal for guidance isn't easy, so visually impaired people will often prefer to spend time with a sighted human guide first. This allows people with sight problems to build their confidence, both in and out of their home, before they rely fully on the assistance of their guide dog. You could add your support by becoming a sighted guide for a person in need.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU HELP
- You should always think carefully before welcoming a new animal into your home. Consider whether you have the time and capability to look after a dog properly, and if they will fit into your current family life.
- If you're learning to become a guide dog trainer, you'll most likely have to make a minimum time commitment to the charity you’re helping.
WHERE TO GET STARTED
People's Postcode Lottery is proud to support The Guide Dogs For The Blind Association. Our players have raised over £3.5 Million so far for this wonderful charity. Why not check out its volunteering opportunities?
HELPING DESERVING CAUSES
If you'd like to know more about getting involved in volunteering in your community, take a look at our Local Causes page and find opportunities near you.
Last updated: 26/03/2021
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