FAQ about the My Guide service

What is the My Guide Service?

The My Guide scheme is a partnership between Guide Dogs and community organisations, which helps people with sight loss get out of their homes and back into the community.


What sort of training does My Guide Provide?

There are two types of training for people to learn how to guide:

My Guide Assist: Two to three hours of practical and interactive learning so that you can safely and appropriately guide a person with sight loss. At the end of this training you are able to guide a friend, family member or anyone on an informal basis.

My Guide Partnership: A day of practical and interactive learning so that you can safely guide a person with sight loss and understand more about the effects of sight loss, safeguarding and more. At the end of this training, you are able to be matched with a blind or partially sighted person as part of a My Guide Partnership.


How long is a My Guide Partnership?

The person who is blind or partially sighted and the volunteer can work together as long as it takes to meet the goals decided on. Goals can change as the two people work together for example from wanting ‘to get out of the house’ to wanting to ‘be able to use the bus to the local shops independently’. Your My Guide Partnership is reviewed regularly.


What about cost?

There is no cost to either the person who is blind or partially sighted or the volunteer as expenses for Guide Dogs and associate organisations are met by fundraising. If you are a registered volunteer with Guide Dogs, volunteer expenses can be met in accordance with our policies. Other organisations will have their own volunteering policies.

With costs such as bus fares, food and drink or entrance to events, the person who is blind or partially sighted should pay for themselves. The volunteer may be able to get a discounted rate for some transport and events as they are assisting the person who is blind or partially sighted. The volunteer may claim expenses in accordance with the relevant policies. Your local staff can provide guidance on individual cases as needed.


In a My Guide Partnership, do you work with the same person the whole time?

With a My Guide Partnership, the person who is blind or partially sighted and the volunteer are carefully matched and work together as long as they both wish to. If either party withdraws from the My Guide Partnership for whatever reason, we will work with you to provide a new My Guide Partnership if you wish.


Does the volunteer provide driving services?

In some cases, the outing might involve a short car journey with the volunteer but it is more likely to involve walking or public transport. The emphasis in a My Guide Partnership is about increasing the confidence and ability of the person who is blind or partially sighted to get about their local area. The volunteer is not expected to provide car transport on a regular basis, or for long journeys.


Does My Guide replace rehab workers or mobility training or a guide dog?

A My Guide Partnership or My Guide Assist absolutely does not replace any kind of mobility or rehabilitation training. The My Guide service can be helpful alongside some of these options but most people who are blind or partially sighted would benefit from additional mobility solutions.


How many volunteers do you have, how long do they spend volunteering and how is the matching done?

Guide Dogs and other organisations are growing the My Guide service across the United Kingdom, so volunteer numbers are increasing all the time. If a person who is blind or partially sighted requests a volunteer in an area where we don’t have any, we or an associate organisation will work hard to recruit a suitable local volunteer or suggest an alternative local service.

Volunteers tend to spend around two or more hours a week with a My Guide Partnership, at times that are convenient for both them and the person who is blind or partially sighted.

Matching between a person who is blind or partially sighted and a volunteer starts when the two meet in the presence of a staff member. If both are happy to work together then the My Guide Partnership takes place, with regular reviews and support from a local staff member as needed.




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