Give the greatest gift this Christmas: Help Guide Dogs UK to change lives

Croydon Guardian: It costs £50,000 to breed, train and support a guide dog throughout its working life. It costs £50,000 to breed, train and support a guide dog throughout its working life.

With your help your local Guardian is hoping to restore freedom and independence in people who have lost their sight.

Every hour, another person in the UK goes blind and it costs £50,000 to breed, train and support a guide dog throughout its working life.

And every single dog is funded through charitable donations.

This is why we are urging our readers to spread some festive cheer by raising money for Guide Dogs UK.

Mike’s story

Father-of-one Mike began to lose his vision in November 2011 and by Christmas Day he could barely see.

On Boxing Day he woke up completely blind and will have to live without his sight for the rest of his life.

He is hoping this Christmas will be the last one without a guide dog.

Croydon Guardian: Give the greatest gift this Christmas: Learn about Guide Dogs

Mike said: "I kept asking myself: ‘why me?’ I knew I’d never see my wife again or see my daughter grow up. Those things were the hardest to come to terms with.

"I felt totally deflated. I didn’t want to do anything.

"When my daughter is older, I would love to be able to walk her to school on my own.

"Little things like that are so important to me. That’s why I’m asking for a guide dog.

"It’s all to do with independence - I want to be able to go to the shop near my mum’s.
"It’s only a five minute walk and a guide dog will get me there safely.

"I won’t be banging into things, the dog will guide me around them."

Mike has already benefited from the My Guide scheme run by Guide Dogs UK.

The initiative sees a trained member of the public help someone like Mike practise routes to places around their home.

He said: "If it wasn’t for this service, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t be able to what I can do now.

"It has helped me rebuild my confidence.

"Now I feel like I’m ready for a guide dog."

Croydon Guardian: Give the greatest gift this Christmas: Learn about Guide Dogs

Donate to Guide Dogs

Text FIRSTXMAS to 70020 or visit guidedogs.org.uk/firstchristmas to donate £3.

Cheques should be made payable to "Guide Dogs" and sent to Newsquest South London, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, SM2 5AS.

Newsquest’s usual terms and conditions apply.

You will be charged £3 plus one message at your standard network rate.

The appeal will receive between 99 and 100 per cent of your donation depending upon your provider.

By using this service, you agree Guide Dogs may call you in the future.

If you would rather we did not, please text NOTHANKS to 83310, UK mobiles only. Registered charity nos. 209617 (England and Wales) and SC038979 (Scotland).

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