My Guide service FAQs
FAQs for people wanting support through the My Guide service
The person with sight loss and the volunteer can work together as long as it takes to meet the goals initially agreed upon. Goals can change, for example from wanting ‘to get out of the house’ to wanting to ‘be able to use the bus to the local shops independently’. Each My Guide partnership is regularly reviewed.
There is no cost to access the service for those who are blind or partially sighted, however costs incurred whilst out and about, such as costs for tickets to events or subsistence, will not be covered by Guide Dogs.
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 want 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.
The emphasis in a My Guide partnership is about increasing your confidence and ability to get out and about to access your local area.
The volunteer is not expected to:
- Provide car transport on a regular basis, or for long journeys
- Do household chores
- Make trips to medical appointments or essential food shopping
- Provide a befriending service
No, a My Guide partnership 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.
Guide Dogs is growing the My Guide service across the UK, 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 My Guides, we or an associate organisation - who can provide the service on our behalf - 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 supporting a My Guide partnership, at times that are convenient for both them and the person with sight loss.
A volunteer is carefully selected to match your goals and, where possible, your interests. The first meeting is with a member of staff and if all parties are happy to work together then the My Guide partnership is initiated. Regular reviews and support from a local staff member are also provided, as needed.