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My guide service
launched by guide dogs

June 2017

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LaterLife have always supported Guide Dogs...what an amazing job they do.

Now there is a new service from Guide Dogs called My Guide. This is aimed to help blind and partially sighted people to get out and about and do the things they want to do.

The My Guide service vets and then trains volunteers who use guiding techniques to help people with sight loss to work towards the mobility goals they want to achieve. This can involve a range of things from accessing activities and places of interest in the local community to learning familiar routes to improving fitness or gaining confidence on public transport.

The service only started earlier this year and the first ever My Guide partnership happened in February, when 93 year old widow and great grandmother Hollie Pemberton partnered up with My Guide volunteer David Oliver.

Before this, Hollie would only leave home once a week to buy food because although she is physically able, she lacks the confidence to leave her home as she has very little sight.

Since My Guide David Oliver was introduced to Hollie, everything has changed. Hollie now enjoys trips out including visits to museums and stately homes which she loves.

Hollie, who lives in Preston, states: “My family all live over an hour away, so it’s difficult for them to visit. But thanks to My Guide, now I’m still able to walk through the park and listen to the birdsong and the river babbling along. It’s wonderful.

“David and I get on so well, we have a lovely friendship. David and the My Guide Service have given me so much – My Guide should be all over the world!” she added.

David, a retired aerospace engineer, said: “We both look forward to our time together. Hollie enjoys talking about the old days, and we have some fascinating conversations. My Guide has given Hollie her interests and independence back, which is so important at her time of life.”

In mid May Hollie and David took home the ‘My Guide Partnership’ Award at Guide Dogs Annual Awards event which took place at The Hurlingham Club, London.

My Guide are now running a Volunteers’ Week taking place from 1-7 June. If you would like to find out about getting involved in this or other aspects of Guide Dogs, visit guidedogs.org.uk/volunteering.


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