Here for you during Covid-19

Update - November 2020

With a national lockdown in England and increased restrictions across the UK, please be reassured that we are doing everything we can to protect you. Our priority is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers,  services users and the general public so we will only be undertaking activities which are Covid secure. We’ve summarised the key updates below:

 

Habilitation, orientation and mobility work

  • This will continue for adults and children within a school or home environment but at a distance of 2m. We will ensure barrier items are always worn during any activity by all parties.

My Sighted Guide 

  • Sighted guiding can continue off-arm at a distance of 2m 
  • Training for My Sighted Guide is not possible at this time

Fundraising

  • Activities can take place at a 2m distance, but this must have been reviewed by Guide Dogs
  • Door-to-door or face-to-face fundraising is not possible

Dog Training 

  • Puppy walking can go ahead working at a distance of 2M from others
  • Puppy classes are not permitted
  • Boarding (with volunteer drop off in own vehicle) can go ahead working at a distance of 2M from others
  • General dog training can go ahead working at a distance of 2M from others
  • Free running support can go ahead working at a distance of 2M from others
  • Class/partnership training and practical assessments can go ahead under certain conditions (please contact Guide Dogs for details)
  • Rehoming of dogs will continue

For further information please contact your community team

Call our COVID-19 sight loss information line 

Whether you’re asking for yourself, a member of your family, or your child, give us a call (between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday) and speak to someone from Guide Dogs who understands what you're going through.

0800 781 1444

How we can help...

A service user and his wife sit smiling with their guide dog

If you, your child, a loved one or friend needs sight loss support, you can find all the latest information about Covid-19 here.

A cane user receives help from a volunteer at a crossing

If you are a volunteer for Guide Dogs and would like more information and guidance during Covid-19, you can find our advice and support here.

A woman smiles at another, whilst maintaining distance

We have put together some helpful suggestions about how to assist people with sight loss during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Woman hugs her guide dog

We've created our ‘Way Forward’ plan to prepare to restart activities in the safest, most practical way possible whilst continuing to adhere to the current guidelines.

How we’re returning back to normal


At Guide Dogs, we’ve set out our Way Forward plan to help us focus on a careful and phased approach to reopening our sites and restarting some areas of work, services and activities. 

It’s important that many areas of work, including our services and volunteering resume so we’re there to support people with sight loss to live independently, actively and well. This is more significant than ever as we navigate our way out of lockdown. 

Our plans continue to follow government advice and every decision is based on ensuring the health and safety of service users, staff, volunteers, donors and our dogs. 

Government advice 

As always, please refer to your Government’s website for the latest COVID-19 information, advice and support materials. There is different guidance and rules if you live in:

The Government has set out its plan to return life back to normal. The following guidance applies to England: 

If you live elsewhere in the UK, please check the guidance for your country in the above links.

Health advice

You must follow government guidelines, abiding by social distancing and self-isolation where appropriate. If you get COVID-19 symptoms (persistent cough, high temperature, etc.) please call your local Guide Dog office to notify us that you are ill. If you need to go into hospital please call us, or arrange for a friend to call us, to let us know. Our emergency out of hours number is 0345 143 0217.

We appreciate that times are really difficult at the moment, however we need your support now more than ever before to make sure we can continue to provide our life-changing services to people with sight loss. Your contribution, however small, will go a long way. Thank you. 

From catching up with friends over a cuppa, to striding out for your daily exercise, there are so many ways you can help us support people with sight loss during this pandemic.