This year, Guide Dogs is celebrating 90 years of providing life-changing services for blind and partially sighted children and their families, young people, and adults.
There are two million people in the UK living with sight loss and 360,000 people are registered blind or partially sighted. Guide Dogs has expert staff, volunteers, life-changing dogs and services to work towards a future where everyone with sight loss has the confidence and support to live independently, actively, and well.
The work of Guide Dogs is made possible by a variety of funders, including the generous support from the amazing players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Support from players is transforming lives by funding projects that make a sustainable impact on the number of people that Guide Dogs help through the expansion of services and extending their reach throughout the UK.
Players are supporting:
- 11 Training and Behaviour Advisors and 20 Guide Dog Mobility Specialists who deliver the unique guide dog training programme. With 250 people every day in the UK starting to lose their sight, Guide Dogs needs to accelerate their capacity to train more life-changing guide dogs.
- The first ever to support the lifetime of an entire litter of guide dog puppies. From breeding through to puppy training, formal guide dog training, life as a working guide, through to life in retirement. Thanks to players, this litter of puppies will provide a combined 72 years of independence for people with sight loss.
- Guide Dogs new regional centres. As founding funders, players are supporting the development at Bristol, London, Leeds and Leamington, plus a hub site at Reading. These centres are integral to the ambition to more than double the number of people and their families that Guide Dogs support by 2023. The purpose-built centres will enable Guide Dogs to train more of their iconic dogs and expand their other services. They will be able to provide more help at a local level and support the growing and increasingly complex needs of the sight loss community.
- The development of new technologies. Players have supported the development of the Guide Dogs chatbot and Alexa Skill. This technology will help blind and partially sighted people access vital information and advice using the Guide Dogs website and voice search. The chatbot and Skill will learn using artificial intelligence technology to become more interactive. It will answer questions directly and guide users to the information they need, when they need it.
Over £3.5 million has been raised for Guide Dogs thanks to players.