Blaithin sent in the following report about a voluntary organisation.
Name of Organisation: Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind
What services does the organisation provide?
They offer a comprehensive suite of services which enable both blind and vision impaired people and families of children with autism to achieve increased independence and an improved quality of life.
Who benefits from the organisation?
Blind and vision impaired people and families of children with autism
How is the organisation financed?
85% of their income comes from fundraising and voluntary donations. 15% is provided through statutory bodies and government agencies. It costs over €4 million to run every year.
Is it run by volunteers/staff? What are their roles?
The organisation is run by volunteers of all ages. They help in the breeding and raising of puppies right through to raising the funds in order to provide the services for people who are blind or vision impaired and for families of a child with autism.
How successful is the organisation?
The Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind has been very successful over the last 35 years. They breed all of their own dogs, working closely with the volunteer breeding stock holders to ensure the most successful outcomes. The guide dogs encourage an active social life, improve fitness and health, provide assistance in locating destinations and offers great companionship to the owners.
What does the day-to-day running of the organisation involve?
There are many stages involved in the training of dogs. Some of these include: preparation for puppy walking (at 6-8 weeks), puppy walking (at 8 weeks), early training (at 12 months for 3-5 months) , advanced training (at 16-18 months of age for 3 months) , matching and qualifying (at 2 years of age).
What is the organisation’s role in the community?
The Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind help people who are blind or visually impaired and the families of children with autism to achieve improved mobility and independence. The guide dogs help blind and visually impaired people by enhancing work opportunities, encourages an active social life, improves health and fitness, assists in location destinations and offers great companionship. The guide dogs help children with autism by improving participation in social activities, improving communication skills, and improves confidence and independence.
Here's the link to find out how you can help http://www.guidedogs.ie/iopen24/-t-33.html