Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind's national fundraising campaign Guide Dog Day takes place on Friday, May 7.
This year the charity is asking everyone to get active by walking, running or swimming a total of 100km in May for Guide Dog Day (#100k4GDD ) or to donate at www.guidedogs.ie
Mayo Guide Dog owner, Edel O'Connor, is taking on the challenge. She explained: "I trained with my sixth Guide Dog, Flora in December 2019. I have never felt very confident using a cane but having a Guide Dog gives me so much more confidence. Flora is a great worker and a lovely little friend.
"As the little sight I have is deteriorating, I am constantly reminded how lucky I am to have her. I am so glad to be walking 100K in May for Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. It’s always nice to give something back and Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind is definitely close to my heart. Good luck to all who are taking part, let’s raise loads."
Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the charity successfully matched 60 Guide Dog and Assistance Dog partnerships in 2020. This year the charity's resilient community of clients, volunteers and supporters are determined to change the lives of 80 people and are calling on the public to help.
Frank Downes, chair of the Galway Branch of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. who has been fundraising for 42 years for the charity, is encouraging everyone to get on board with the challenge, saying: "Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind is an incredible charity. The Guide and Assistance Dogs enable people to lead independent lives and to actively participate in their communities. Guide Dog Day is a celebration of that. The funds raised in May will mean 80 people's lives will be changed before the end of the year. Please consider doing the challenge or simply donate. You can find out more on our Facebook page."
You can also support Guide Dog Day by donating at www.guidedogs.ie or text WOOF to 50300 to donate €4. (Text cost €4. Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind will receive a minimum of €3.60. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 076 6805278. )