Confidence has returned

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My name is Mike. I lost my sight in December 2011 which affected me in a lot of ways.

My main worry was not getting out and doing the things I used to do, like not being able to drive and go out when I wanted and where I wanted.

I felt isolated and my confidence was none existent.

Guide Dogs local team first supported me with the My Guide sighted service in April 2012.

Within four months of being partnered with a fantastic My Guide volunteer I was able to go out independently and within six months I was using public transport by myself.

The difference to my confidence was amazing.

This year I am getting the best Christmas gift I could have hoped for as I am now training with my first guide dog Unity.

Without the support from Guide Dogs I would not be the person I am now; confident and mobile.

But all of this, inevitably, costs money and the Guide Dogs service receives no funding from the government or any other body yet I will only pay 50p for my dog.

Guide Dogs also cover all the dogs’ costs.

This is why I’m appealing to local businesses and community organisations to support Guide Dogs as their charity of the year, or by running an event or joining the charity’s ‘Name a Puppy Scheme’.

To find out more contact newcastle@guidedogs.org.uk or call 0845 372 7423.

Best wishes for Christmas and 2015

Mike Hayley

Guide Dog Owner