The Swiss Re Foundation

We're delighted that our new partner, the Swiss Re Foundation is supporting us to fund a new service that provides dedicated hospital-based Guide Dogs Family Outreach Officers to support families at the critical point when their child is first diagnosed with sight loss.


A two-year partnership funding support for when parents need it most

There are currently 41,000 children and young people in the UK living with sight loss and every year 1,460 parents receive news that their child is blind or losing their sight. This is a devastating time and often parents don't know where to turn. There is no immediate guidance or emotional support available. Families are frightened and have very limited access to practical support until their child reaches school age.

During this two-year partnership, the Swiss Re Foundation will support Guide Dogs in providing up to three new hospital-based Guide Dogs Family Support Outreach Officers within specialist Paediatric Eye Hospitals in London. Following a successful pilot project at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London, this service has proven to give invaluable dedicated support for families whose child receives a new sight loss diagnosis.

Family Support Outreach Officers will provide families with:

  • Emotional and practical support from the point of diagnosis

  • Help in understanding their child's diagnosis with compassion and reassurance

  • A tailored plan to support each family

  • Information on how to gain access to wider support from Guide Dogs Children's Programmes

If a Family Support Outreach Officer had been in place, I believe my experience of becoming a mother to a vision-impaired child would have been more positive. Having that essential emotional and practical support, and someone who is impartial when dealing with the medical team treating your child would take the immediate pressure off parents.
Rachel Sutton, Mother of Nell who was diagnosed with sight loss

A lasting legacy of support

During the partnership period with the Swiss Re Foundation, an incredible 2,000 families will receive the help and guidance they desperately need from these new support officers. What's more, it will create a lasting legacy as this service grows, enabling us to reach even more families that need our help across the UK in the future.

About the partnership, Jason Richards, CEO UK & Ireland at Swiss Re UK said, "The whole UK team is so energised and looking forward to entering this new partnership with Guide Dogs. We are motivated to help make a real difference to those affected by sight loss, and interested to learn more about the pioneering paediatric work being undertaken at Guys Hospital."

The whole UK team is so energised and looking forward to entering this new partnership with Guide Dogs. We are motivated to help make a real difference to those affected by sight loss, and interested to learn more about the pioneering paediatric work being undertaken at Guys Hospital.
Jason Richards, CEO UK & Ireland, Swiss Re UK

Fundraising that inspires and engages the team while making a real difference

The Swiss Re UK employees will be further supporting Guide Dogs through a variety of inspiring, fun and challenging fundraising and volunteering activities throughout the partnership.