On International Guide Dog Day (29 April), we at Guide Dogs Australia are saying an extra-special thanks to our wonderful Guide Dogs for the life changing work they continue to do amid unprecedented global challenges.
Guide Dog Day was created to celebrate the important role Guide Dogs play in helping people with low vision or blindness lead safe and independent lives, and this year it takes on a new meaning.
It is clear that the comfort and companionship a Guide Dog provides has never been more essential for or cherished by Guide Dog handlers.
The coronavirus pandemic has understandably presented challenges to us as an organisation, but the welfare of Guide Dogs clients and our dogs is always our number one priority, so we have simply had to find ways to solve these challenges.
This has meant supporting clients through phone calls, video conferences, email and social media, while our trainers have been busy setting up obstacle courses at our campuses, or training dogs from home, so they can continue getting our Guide Dogs-in-training ready to change lives.
It has not been easy, but we have made it work, and for that I extend a heartfelt thankyou to all Guide Dogs team members and volunteers.
Recent weeks have also been a chance to dig into the community spirit we’ve been building into our organisation over more than 60 years, so I want to thank everyone who has extended their support to Guide Dogs and helped us continue our work during this very difficult time.
Dale Cleaver, CEO Guide Dogs NSW/ACT