As the result of a brain tumour, 16 year old Maia lost her sight. As a teenager she had just started to get some independence of her own, and her parents were also starting to get some free time back, but that all changed very quickly. Maia suddenly lost the independence that she had started to gain and felt that she would never be able to do the things that her friends would. She believed that she would never move away from her parents, or go to University. Maia was introduced to a guide dog owner who had gone to University, lived in halls of residence and gained a first class degree, and she realised that actually she could do all the things she wanted to. 18 months down the line, with some support from Guide Dogs to help her learn some routes with a white cane, she is now studying at the RNC in Hereford with the aim to go to University in 2016. Maia has also just passed her Guide Dog assessment and is now on the waiting list for her first dog. For Maia, the sky is now the limit.

Guide Dogs not only give people independence and mobility, they also give confidence and companionship. Without the generosity of the public giving donations or volunteers giving their time to fundraise, we would not be able to give Maia the hope that one day she will be a guide dog owner and will be able to get out and about on her own terms.

Fundraising for Guide Dogs is a fun and interesting way to support charity and to know that you are making a real difference. We are always seeking new helpers for our fundraising groups, so if you can spare an hour or two each month then why not get in touch with us to find out more on 0345 1430204.

If volunteering as part of a group doesn’t interest you, then why not consider organising your own fundraiser such as a cake sale or a coffee morning? Check out this part of our website to find out how to do this:

Fundraise For Us

Exeter Fundraising Team

Pam, Vicky and Sarah make up the Exeter fundraising team. Together, with the rest of the mobility team, they support community fundraising across Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and parts of South Gloucestershire. We are lucky to be supported by so many wonderful volunteers who give their time generously to Guide Dogs. They spread the word of our charity and raise valuable funds, in order for us to provide our services to the people who need them.

Pam is our longest standing Community Fundraiser. She works with fundraising groups and supporters in Cornwall and parts of Devon. Pam also owns a retired Guide Dog called Zorbee who is her trusty fundraising sidekick. Her favourite thing about fundraising is being able to see how the money raised makes a real difference to our clients living right here in our community. Pam knows that losing your sight strips away ones freedom to do things independently and she is proud that her work helps people to regain their independence.

Vicky joined the team in 2014 and works with fundraising groups and supporters in Devon, including covering the City of Exeter and parts of Somerset. Vicky also volunteers in her spare time for the Yeovil fundraising group. Her favourite thing about being a part of a fundraising group is, meeting up with so many people that are so passionate about the same thing. Coming together to help make a difference and never quite knowing where your fundraising will take you next. (Believe it or not, that is Vicky in the dog suit, getting overly involved in her fundraising role)

Sarah started working for Guide Dogs in Shrewsbury in 2012, but relocated to the Exeter team in late 2014. She works out of the Bristol office and works with the fundraising groups across Bristol, Somerset and parts of South Gloucestershire. Her favourite fundraising scheme is Name a Puppy, as it gives you the chance to not just name a puppy on of the adorable pups, but also to meet it as a thank you for your hard work fundraising. (

Captions for pictures

Blind teenager, Maia, who has applied for a guide dog.

Pam and retired guide dog Zorbee.

Vicky dressed in dog suit with two children in inflatable slide.

Sarah with guide dog puppy Nina, hard at work.