Every little helps...

Hello, and as always, welcome back to our blog.

Firstly, let me re-assure everyone that, you are in the right place, and have not stumbled on something published by a well-known supermarket chain who use this same slogan.

As I have mentioned in previous posts the average cost of a guide dog, to the charity, is around £50,000.  With the Guide Dogs’ service receiving no government funding, and we guide dog owners asked to pay the rather small sum of 50p for our wonderful, magnificent, life changing dogs, and the only reason we are asked to pay this is to make the agreement we sign with Guide Dogs’ legally binding.

Recently I got a break down of the costs involved in providing a single guide dog to a person with sight loss.  Some of those costs include;

  • Puppy walking- £5,100
  • Early training- £13,900
  • Advanced training- £10,900
  • Partnership training- £3,300

This is not the complete list, just a snap-shot of the costs involved.  I must admit, that when I read the list in its entirety it seemed quite daunting.  It put all of the costs into sharp focus and somehow made the amount seem more real, and made me realise just how lucky I and every other person who has been given a guide dog by this charity truly are.  How lucky we are to live in a country which has an organisation like Guide Dogs, which will give us the very best guide dog we can have regardless of our ability to pay, for only 50p.  This is certainly not the case worldwide, and in many countries, the dog you get depends on how much you can afford to pay.

Although Guide Dogs asks nothing from us in terms of additional financial support, I am always keen to give back to the organisation whenever I can.  I sponsor a puppy, I have managed to place a few collection boxes, and I rarely ever leave a shop where a Guide Dog’s collection box is with any loose change. 

For around 6 and a half years I have been collecting 5p pieces.  This started entirely by accident, when I realised one day that I had a ridiculous number of them in my wallet, and thought, there has to be a better way to keep these annoying little coins out of my way.  So I started collecting them, just in a small tube at first, but as the collection grew they ultimately ended up in a rather nice little money box.  I had decided quite some time ago, that once the money box was full, the contents would be donated to Guide Dogs.  So a few weeks ago that fateful day arrived.  I couldn’t get any more 5p’s into the box, so it was time to cash it in and see how much I would be able to give to Guide Dogs.

As luck would have it I was going into the office later that week.  So it was a simple enough matter to bring the box along with me for counting.  Fortunately the Newcastle Mobility Team now have a coin counting machine in the office, so no one would have the rather arduous task of counting out all of those coins.  Now, dear readers, I wasn’t expecting there to be a vast fortune within that box, we were after all only talking about 5p’s.  But I had hoped for something around the £50 mark.  However when the coins were counted out it came to only £38.55.  I must admit I was a little disappointed at this total, but still happy that it was going to Guide Dogs.  Next time I’ll have to collect higher value coins.

But, that said, even this small amount will help the organisation.  As well as those eye wateringly large figures mentioned above, there are many other smaller day to day costs for the organisation.  These include;

  • £6 to support a guide dog partnership for a day
  • £5 to pay to micro-chip a new Guide Dog puppy
  • £7 to by a new blue guide dogs ‘Puppy in Training’ coat for a puppy
  • £8 to by a collar for a working guide dog
  • £18 to pay for an hours training for a guide dog.
  • £20 to buy a harness handle for a guide dog

Again folks, this is not the entire list, just a small snap-shot.

But both of these lists show why the charity needs the level of support it does, and why we are so incredibly grateful to every single person who donates to Guide Dogs.  Every single penny raised helps to make an incalculable difference to a person with sight loss’

Being able to go out whenever I like with confidence and in safety - PRICELESS…

With this in mind, I have decided to join a Guide Dog’s fundraising event myself, in hopes of raising more funds for Guide Dogs.  At the end of June I will be taking part in the Blind Drive Challenge…  As the name suggest it will involve me actually driving a car.  Fortunately the car will be duel controlled, and we will be driving around the Nissan test track in Sunderland.  Naturally I will be telling you all about it in a blog post after the event.  With luck there will be photos and perhaps even some video of my own personal blind drive attempt.  I know a few people who have undertaken this challenge in the past and all have said that it’s good fun.  I am a little apprehensive about it, but knowing that I am giving back to Guide Dogs should help to keep the nerves in check.

If anyone would like to participate in this event, and try driving blind, then please contact the Newcastle mobility team, and if anyone would like to sponsor me for this challenge then please visit my just giving page to donate. 

Any amount would be greatly appreciated, because when it comes to supporting Guide Dog’s every little helps…


Amer, 11:59am Fri 27 Jun 2014:

Well done

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Commando and collection boxes

Support Guide Dogs with Craig's Blind Drive

Craig And Commando

Craig is in his early thirties and he is completely blind. His blog details the day-to-day adventures he experiences with his first guide dog, Commando.

Read Craig and Commando's most recent adventures.