How your money is helping

It cost Guide Dogs around £49 million to provide the guide dog service and other mobility services in 2015. Our Guide Dogs services has trained and partnered more than 30,000 guide dogs – transforming the lives of people with sight loss and this number continues to grow each year.

Andrea Cooper smiling confidently, sitting holding her guide dog

Andrea’s a good example of how your donation might be spent:

Andrea Cooper knows first-hand how distressing it is to feel isolated by a visual impairment. Andrea was one of the first young people to get involved in a pilot scheme we set up for children under 16. At just 15, she became one of the youngest guide dog owners ever.

It costs Guide Dogs:

  • £42,300 to breed and train a guide dog
  • £12,300 to support the ongoing working partnership until the dog retires.

Andrea may need eight or more dogs in her life, each at a cost of around £55,000. We make a lifetime commitment to each guide dog owner to provide them with a guide dog for as long as they need one.

Some of the ways we help someone like Andrea:

  • We campaign on behalf of guide dog owners to ensure they have access to shops, buses, taxis, restaurants. We also campaign to ensure that streets are accessible and safe for people with guide dogs.
  • We research into the causes of sight loss and prevention of further sight loss, and the best way to breed and train dogs.
  • Our National Breeding Centre is essential to Guide Dogs' future. It's where we work to improve all aspects of our breeding programme so that we can provide the best guide dogs. In 2015, we intend to breed around 1,250 guide dog puppies.
  • We regularly visit newly qualified guide dog owners to see how they are getting on and to provide local advice and support. Read more about our services.
  • We provide Blind Children UK with a grant which is enabling them to help thousands of children and young people living with sight loss live as independently as they can when they become adults.

Further Information

You can find more detailed information on how we spend our money in our annual review and report.


Guide Dogs wants everyone who experiences sight loss to have the freedom to live life the way they choose.

Breakdown of a pound

51p - Provision of guide dogs and other adult mobility services

The breeding and training of new guide dogs and supporting working guide dog partnerships

3p – Provision of other children’s services

We offer a range of services and activities for children and young people and provide valuable advice for parents and teachers. Find out more about our services for children and young people.

39p - Cost of generating income, including trading activities

Includes all fundraising activities

5p - Advocacy and raising awareness

Advocacy includes the cost of lobbying to break down barriers and to enable blind and partially sighted people to get around on their own

1p - Research and Development

We fund research programmes that help provide sound evidence on which to base our working practices, policies and campaigns. We invest in developing new and effective services with the overall aim of making a positive difference to the lives of people with sight loss.

1p - Governance

Governance costs are those costs relating to the general running of the charity. They include the strategic planning process, internal and external audit and costs associated with trustees and trustee meetings.