People power

Hello and welcome to a series of blogs covering Guide Dogs Week.

In order to do the magnificent work they do in changing lives, Guide Dogs need two things above all else. Pounds and people.

The army of volunteers we have at Guide Dogs is truly one of our greatest assets, and utterly vital to our work, and like everything else, we can always use more people.

This year, one of the themes for Guide Dogs Week is to encourage people to donate an hour to help Guide Dogs in its work. The aim is to give people a taste of the kind of work we do, and hopefully encourage them to consider volunteering for Guide Dogs on a more permanent basis.

Craig in the Volunteering OfficeI have mentioned in the past that I have found my volunteering experiences with Guide Dogs to be extremely rewarding. This has included my involvement in assisting with the planning of some of the Newcastle Mobility Teams Guide Dog Week activities. I, along with a number of other volunteers, am part of the Guide Dogs Week planning group. This involves attending meetings, along with members of the mobility team, where ideas and plans for Guide Dogs Week are discussed. These meetings really help foster a sense of involvement among myself and other volunteers. This has resulted in a group of volunteers creating their own sensory challenge which will be open to the public at the Newcastle office on the 4 October.

In addition, I have also been involved in a telephone drive to contact existing volunteers and ask if they can spare us some time to assist in a collection in Newcastle city centre during Guide Dogs week. As well as asking local businesses if they will support us in some way during the week.

Something that really impresses me during these meetings and telephone drives is Commando’s behaviour in the office. Although he’s no stranger to lying quietly during lectures at College, we tend not to have people and other dogs moving around during these times.  However the office is always a hub of activity and we had many people and dogs walking around and past us over the course of the day. However, Commando is the very model of good behaviour, just lying quietly at my feet, only getting up to have a look around every now and then. This is especially good behaviour for Commando given his fondness for other dogs.

In our next Guide Dogs Week post, find out how the sensory challenge goes down with members of the public on the 4 October.

In the mean-time if you would like to donate an hour, and learn first-hand just how rewarding volunteering with Guide Dogs can be then please contact your local mobility team, who will be so very pleased to hear from you.


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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.