Wear your SHADES and support Irish Guide Dogs, urges Roy Keane

Irish Guide Dogs’ most famous patron Roy Keane is looking for volunteers in Galway city and county area to help out with Irish Guide Dogs national SHADES campaign taking place from Monday April 28 to Friday May 2. Volunteers are required for street collections throughout the week and for a Tesco collection day on Thursday May 1.

“There are loads of benefits to volunteering with Irish Guide Dogs during SHADES,” said Roy Keane, Ireland’s assistant manager. “When I leave Guide Dogs I always feel better about myself. I’ve met lots of blind people over the years and it’s just amazing what the dogs do – what they give people. These dogs are giving people back their life.”

Irish Guide Dogs’ largest annual campaign, SHADES, aims to raise awareness of the work of the national charity and to try to get communities around the country to help raise €270,000 to fund its vital work.

“We need your help to make this year our most successful yet,” said Louise O’Sullivan Geary, community fundraising manager with Irish Guide Dogs. “It costs more than €4.5 million to run the organisation each year. The lifetime cost of one working dog is €38,000. Irish Guide Dogs trained the highest number of people to date in 2013, 197 people, and plans to increase this to 240 people in 2014. As a charity that is 80 per cent funded through donations and the public, we need your support to continue to make a difference. Even one or two hours for us really has an impact so please help out if you can.”

To volunteer in your area call 1850 506300 or email Louise on [email protected] to sign up. To mark the kick-off of the campaign, the Ray D’arcy show on Today FM will broadcast from Irish Guide Dogs’ headquarters in Cork on Monday April 28.

The SHADES 2014 campaign encourages the general public to mind their own eyes and wear shades for a day on Friday May 2. Most sight loss is preventable. Irish Guide Dogs believes in good early-intervention eye care to prevent severe vision impairment and eventual blindness. Through SHADES the charity aims to raise awareness of the importance of good eye care and remind people to get their eyes tested regularly. The sun and UV light in particular can be damaging to people’s vision.

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