The Guide Dogs story started in 1931 with two amazing British pioneers, Muriel Crooke and Rosamund Bond. These remarkable women organised the training of the first four British guide dogs from a humble lock up garage in Wallasey, Merseyside.
The charity has come a very long way since those early days. Today Guide Dogs is the world’s largest breeder and trainer of working dogs. And thanks to their dedicated staff and volunteers – and your vital donations – they have helped over 29,000 blind and partially sighted people to achieve life-changing independence.
Guide Dogs provide support to help people with sight loss move around safely and confidently, to get out of their homes and be able to live their lives the way they choose. They are best known for achieving this through their world-famous guide dogs, but their work now encompasses so much more. In recent years Guide Dogs have extended their work to help people with sight loss tackle obstacles they face on a daily basis. This could be through their Children and Young Peoples service or their My Guide service which matches up people with sight loss with a volunteer sighted guide.
Guide Dogs relies on donations from the public to keep their life-changing services running. In 2016, less than 1% of their income came from government funding.
To support a guide dog from birth to retirement costs £56,800. A guide dog owner may have as many as eight guide dogs in their lifetime, bringing the total cost to more than £450,000.