Paul Jackson with Terri Doyle (Trustee) and Evelyn Power (Corporate Partnership Executive)
Just after Christmas, I was in Cork meeting Terri Doyle and Evelyn Power of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. I was delighted to present them with a cheque for €2,700 towards their Dog Breeding Generation Programme.
Irish Guide Dogs – about the charity
Irish Guide Dogs is Ireland’s national charity dedicated to helping people who are vision impaired and families of children with autism achieve improved mobility and independence. Irish Guide Dogs had humble beginnings; the charity started in a small farmhouse in County Cork in 1976. By 1980, the first Guide Dog partnership was established. For over 40 years the charity has provided life-changing services and support to people across Ireland with sight loss. The charity receives over 85% of its income through voluntary donations and fundraising through a network of volunteers across the country. It costs over €5 million per annum to run the organisation.
In 2005, Irish Guide Dogs was the first organisation in Europe to provide assistance dogs for families of children with autism. Trustee, Terri Doyle, explained how Labradors are chosen as either guide dogs or assistance dogs, depending on the individual dog’s temperament. Terri has first-hand experience, as her son Conor is autistic and he has been supported by an assistance dog for 13 years.
Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind’s National Headquarters and Training Centre are located on the Model Farm Road, two miles outside Cork City. All training programmes are run at this location. Some of their courses last up to three weeks, with clients staying at the centre for the duration of their training. Full aftercare is provided for all clients in their homes and communities.
If you would like to find out more about the Irish Guide Dogs charity, please visit their website on guidedogs.ie