Todays blog is not about Rochester, but it is about him and the other 1099 puppies that Guide Dogs deliver every year. Here are a few statistics to consider. In 2010 Guide dogs were responsible for over 8000 dogs!
- 300 guide dog mums and dads who provide the next generation of puppies
- 1100 in puppy walking
- 550 dogs in guide dog advanced training
- 4,500 working in partnership with a blind or partially sighted person
- 1,500 enjoying their retirement
Yesterday we visited the guide dog facility responsible for organising this massive effort; the brand new National Breeding Centre near Leamington Spa. Along with several of the other puppy walkers in Swindon we were given a guide tour of the centre. This must be the only guided tour where you are guided not just by people, but also by dogs! As well as several volunteer guides we were accompanied by some of the breeding dogs and bitches; all of whom live in volunteers homes close to the centre.
The centre has been purpose built to meet the needs of dogs! So all the living areas have in and outdoor runs, natural light and contact with the other dogs staying at the centre. As with every facet of guide dogs, volunteers play an important role supporting the work of the salaried staff. Guide dogs currently has over 10,000 volunteers in over 50 different roles
- over 9000 volunteers work with dogs in roles such as boarders, brood bitch and stud dog holders, kennel assistants, puppy socialisers and puppy walkers
- over 2,600 people regularly help in fundraising
- the 10,000 volunteers perform over £28million worth of work a year
- around 38% of volunteers donate 20 hours or more per week
So if you want to get involved there are lots of opportunities all over the country. visit the guide dog volunteer website to find out more. You can also visit the centre, you don’t have to work for guide dogs. Just contact the visitor services team at NBCvisitors@guidedogs.org.uk for a tour you will never forget.