You and the volunteer sighted guide can work together as long as it takes to meet the goals we 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’ and this is discussed in scheduled, regular reviews.
There is no cost 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 Sighted Guide Partnership, you and our volunteer are carefully matched and work together as long as you both want to. If either party withdraws from the My Sighted Guide partnership for whatever reason, we will work with you to provide a new My Sighted Guide partnership, if you wish.
The emphasis in a My Sighted Guide partnership is about increasing your confidence and ability to get out and about to access your local area.
You can't expect the volunteer 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 Sighted Guide partnership does not replace any kind of mobility or rehabilitation training. The My Sighted 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 Sighted Guide service across the UK, so volunteer numbers are increasing all the time. If there isn't a volunteer available in your area, 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 Sighted Guide partnership, at times that are convenient for you both.
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 everyone is happy to work together then the My Sighted Guide partnership is initiated. Regular reviews and support from a local staff member are also provided, as needed.