Delivering the service

Staff

Guide dog owner Louise and TeddyLondon’s service delivery staff are broken down into five different job responsibilities and Barry Cahill and Natasha Fleming head up the team as Service Delivery Managers. The team consists of the following staff:

Service Delivery Manager for Children and Young People:

Tracy Banks.

Guide Dog Mobility Instructors:

Dan, David, Nicola, Jemma, Becca, Barry, Isabelle, Rob and Paris. 

Trainee Guide Dog Mobility Instructors:

Annabelle, Laura, Luke, Tim and Kristy.

Guide Dog Trainers:

Tony, Sam, Alex and Zoe (who is also our dog re-homer).

My Guide Officers:

Charlotte Gavelle and Becca Harper.

Mobility Instructors:

Elisabete, Tommy, Justin and Gail.

Services for Children and Young People:

Sharon, Kat and Karen.

Dog Care and Welfare Advisor:

Sarah

The support team:

Hannah P, Hannah G, Andreas, Roisin and Martyna.


How is our service delivered?

Clients will meet different staff members at different stages of their application and while they receive a service from us.

Mobility Instructor’s are responsible for working with clients following their initial application, and aim at building up their independent mobility prior to undergoing assessment for a guide dog.

Guide Dog Mobility Instructors will carry out the final stage of the application process – the Guide Dog Assessment – which determines whether a guide dog is suitable for each person. They also carry out the Advanced Training of the dogs, train clients how to work with their dogs and provide ongoing support to clients throughout their dog’s life.

We are fortunate in London to be taking part in the Dog Training Location Study, and as part of that we have 2 Guide Dog Trainer’s working with us. This project means that dogs go straight from their puppy walker to us, rather than going straight to our training facility in Redbridge which would usually have happened. They live with the same volunteer boarder through both the Early and Advanced stages of their training, and we hope that by reducing the changes that the dogs go through, it will make their transition through this time easier. It also means that they are familiar with life in London from an earlier time.

Other exciting projects in service delivery focus on partially sighted or blind children and young people.

Since the removal of our lower age limit for applicants, we have started to work more with children and young people. In London our youngest Guide Dog Owner is 15 and trained with their guide dog in 2012. We have a trainee Mobility Instructor called Sharon who is specialising in children and young people, and it is hoped that she will be able to support our younger applicants through their application and provide them with whatever they require to meet their mobility needs.

Our new Buddy Dog service has started to expand within London. Buddy Dogs are placed with families with a visually impaired child, or with teachers in schools with a unit specialising in Visual Impairment. These dogs are carefully selected from those that are not suited to the role of a guide dog, and provide them with an alternative career. The dogs that have been placed so far are already showing what a difference they can make to children’s lives, for example by giving them more confidence.


Your Service User Rep

Tim and his guide dog AliceHi, my name's Tim Gebbels and I am the Service User Representative for Guide Dogs in London. My role is to reflect your opinions, concerns and needs back to Guide Dogs either at the local level to the London team or above team level to the Guide Dogs organisation if that’s necessary.

Although I often work closely with the London team, I am a volunteer for Guide Dogs and not a paid member of staff. I am here to help with any problems you may have communicating with the team or maybe to explain to you any aspect of the organisation which isn’t clear. You are also more than welcome to get in touch if you just want to have a chat, to talk something through or let off steam in confidence. Often as visually impaired people or guide dog owners getting around London we can have issues in our local community or in the work place which it’s hard to sort out through specific action but about which it’s just useful to share.

I’ve been a guide dog owner for 15 years and before that used a long cane round our great capital city so, like you, am out there doing it every day. Refused service in a local shop because you have a dog, problems with neighbours or co-workers or friends and family because you’ve chosen to apply for a guide dog, having a fight with the local council over an obstruction in the street – I’ve been there.

Call or text any time on my "Guide Dogs number": 07748 146453. You can leave me a message to call you back on my landline: 0207 4982308.

My email is: tim@timgebbels.fsnet.co.uk

You can find me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter: @GuidedogTim




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