Children and young people’s services (formerly Blind Children UK)
In 2013 Blind Children UK became part of the Guide Dogs family. In January 2017, we fully integrated Guide Dogs and Blind Children UK into one charity so that we can build on existing services and support more children with sight loss.
Becoming a single charity means we can provide support for people with sight loss throughout their lives for as long as they need it. The services provided by Guide Dogs (including those formerly provided by Blind Children UK) will not be affected by this change.
Guide Dogs helps children with vision impairments and their families by providing:
- practical help and advice
- educational support
- habilitation (mobility and life skills) training
- large-print books through CustomEyes
- advice on technology and equipment
- family support including early diagnosis support and recreation events for the whole family
- partnering some young people with a guide dog
- partnering some children with a buddy dog, a well-trained companion dog
To access children and young people's services in your area, you can contact our helpline on 0800 7811444.
Will all the Blind Children UK services continue?
Yes. We provide all of the services previously provided by Blind Children UK under the Guide Dogs name and these will continue to run as they did before.
Will there be changes to the people I deal with?
No. The support you receive will continue with the same contact people, in the same way as before.
Why did this happen in January 2017?
There are a number of reasons why we made this decision. A key factor is that we did not achieved the levels of fundraising needed to independently support Blind Children UK and the planned growth in the services for children and young people and their families.
Why were the two charities integrated into one?
Being a single charity means we can provide support for people with sight loss throughout their lives for as long as they need it. It also allows us to support more children and young people in the future.
We strongly believe that integrating the two charities is the best and most responsible way for us to build on Blind Children UK’s strengths and continue to provide high quality, crucial services for children and young people with sight loss.
Over the past three years Blind Children UK tripled the number of children and families supported, doubled fundraising income and built excellent relationships with commissioners and professionals.
Will CustomEyes books still be available?
Yes. All of the Blind Children UK services will continue to be provided, including CustomEyes books.
I support Blind Children UK through the Sponsor A Future scheme. Will the money I give still be spent on helping children with sight loss?
Yes. Money donated through Sponsor A Future will still be spent on supporting children and young people.
Will this change mean a reduction in the number of guide dogs trained?
No. All of the current Guide Dogs services will continue to run as they do now and we will continue to increase the number of guide dogs trained and provided to people with sight loss.