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Volunteers needed to help those with sight loss in Bucks

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association is on the search for My Guides.

Published by Dan Gooding at 7:55am 2nd February 2020. 3-minute read.

Volunteers needed to help those with sight loss in Bucks

You could help change the life of one of the 18,000 people living with sight loss in Buckinghamshire.

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association is looking for volunteers to pair up and help people get out and about or enjoy activities they find difficult.

Some of those hoping for a volunteer may not be able to get out at all on their own, so getting involved could really help change someone's life!

The charity is looking especially for people in Milton Keynes and Aylesbury. 

In Buckinghamshire, Guide Dogs is starting to get more referrals from people looking for a sighted guides but doesn't have enough volunteers to meet demand. Some people have been waiting several months to get out and about.

There are around 18,000 people living with sight loss in the county.

My Guide is a volunteer-led service that Guide Dogs offers, where a trained, sighted guide is partnered with someone who is blind or partially sighted.

My Guides accompany the person to help with things like running errands, practicing everyday routes, using public transport, or going to the gym. Sometimes, they'll just spend time together and take part in activities they both enjoy.  

People / Guiding

The volunteer usually spends about two hours per week as a My Guide and will meet the same person every week to ensure they both have things in common. 

Suzanne Carr, My Guide Volunteer Manager, says:

"My Guide is a fantastic service that enables volunteers to help people who are partially sighted or blind to take part in activities that they may not feel able to do on their own.

"Many people living with sight loss experience isolation or loneliness, and I have seen first-hand how having a My Guide volunteer can help turn their life around."

Mike, who has sight loss and currently uses the My Guide service, said:

"Meeting up with Dave every week makes a huge difference to my life. It's another reason to get out and about. I've been very lucky with Dave as my volunteer and now regard [him] as a good friend.

"Thank you to My Guide and everything you do for people like me." 

Guide Dogs provides full training for all volunteers.

To apply, go to the Guide Dogs website or call the Reading Team on 0345 143 0224.

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