Guide Dogs UK

18th April 2024
Discover the accomplishments by Guide Dogs UK, who will joining us at Goodwoof.

We are delighted to be welcoming Guide Dogs back to Goodwoof this year. If you have never heard of Guide Dogs and their amazing work before, we have some interesting information about the charity for you to discover.

Who are Guide Dogs?

Guide Dogs is an amazing charity that has set out to help those affected by sight loss in the UK to live the life they choose. Every six minutes in the UK, one more person loses their sight. Every day, 250 more people join the staggering two million already living with sight loss, with this number set to double by 2050. The expert staff, volunteers and life-changing dogs from Guide Dogs are there to help people with vision impairment live actively, independently and well. Guide Dogs has been on an incredible journey since its first partnership was formed in 1931. The team are best known for their world-famous guide dogs, but their full suite of services encompass so much more. In recent years, Guide Dogs has expanded its services with and beyond just dogs to help thousands more people with vision impairment.

How Guide Dogs help people

Guide Dogs are not just your regular charity - they’re all about changing lives and one of the ways they do this is through their transformational dogs!   They’re making a huge difference for people with vision impairment and are on a mission to reach even more people who need support.   What sets Guide Dogs apart is their people-centred approach.  It’s not about one-size-fits-all solutions; it’s about helping people to live actively, independently and well by tailoring support to fit each person’s unique needs.   So, whether it’s helping people with sight loss build the confidence to go wherever they want, giving them the skills and advice to live life on their own terms or supporting with the emotional challenges sight loss presents, Guide Dogs is there, helping give everyone the chance to live the life they choose.

The dogs

The amazing canine companions that work so hard for Guide Dogs give people with sight loss the confidence to get out and about safely. Whether it’s helping them get to work, attend a regular exercise class or to the shops and back, they provide life-changing practical support every single day. In 2022, the charity created 387 new guide dog partnerships and supported a total of 4,065 partnerships.

Guide Dogs also offers a unique service with its buddy dogs which brings a canine friend into the lives of children with sight loss. By helping them build confidence in themselves and trust in their surroundings, these dogs have a hugely positive effect on a child and their family’s wellbeing. In 2022, the charity partnered 52 children with a buddy dog and supported a total of 266 partnerships.

The story of Hannah and Wendy

When Hannah started her first job, she realised she needed to be more independent and rely less on the support of others. She hasn’t looked back since. Wendy, her first guide dog, has helped Hannah to embrace the world of work and give back to the community by becoming a local councillor. She’s enjoying a lively social life too.

“The work Guide Dogs does is incredible. I can’t put into words how much Wendy has changed my outlook, future ambitions and plans.”

Hannah was born with bilateral retinoblastoma (Rb), a rare type of childhood eye cancer that meant she had to have her left eye removed at a young age and undergo significant treatment to save very limited vision in her right eye. Luckily, she had the support of family and friends to help her through school and then university, where she achieved a First Class Honours in Politics. But when she started working things were different.

“My first job was in Parliament, which was amazing, but the buildings are very difficult to navigate. I had a symbol cane, but getting around was hard and stressful – especially on the Tube five days a week where people don’t necessarily realise what you’re doing or why you are moving so slowly.”

“I realised there wasn’t much more I could do to help myself, and you can’t always rely on others. I’d always known about Guide Dogs and I decided to get in touch.”

When Hannah met guide dog Wendy there was instant chemistry. “There were licks on the hand straight away. I loved her the moment I met her and was so excited.”

Hannah has now moved to a job with NHS England, where Wendy helps her to navigate around the office. Confident in her independence, she has also campaigned for and been elected as a local councillor. That means juggling many other new responsibilities – much of which wouldn’t be possible without Wendy.

“It’s amazing what Wendy has helped me to do and how much she has helped me to believe in what I can achieve. She was on the campaign trail with me, helping me to do the leafleting and door-knocking. I’m very happy within myself and what I’m doing now, but I also have the confidence to think what’s next? Maybe a career in politics? Who knows? The sky really is my limit, and the world is my oyster with my best friend Wendy by my side.”

“Wendy helps me in so many other ways. I have an annual checkup and many other medical appointments following my childhood cancer that are stressful and daunting. Wendy is there with me during the appointments, helping to keep me distracted and keeping a watchful eye on the doctors to make sure I’m okay. Nothing gets past Wendy!”

With Wendy by her side, Hannah also enjoys trips to the beach and going regularly to restaurants and pubs.

“People often use the term life changing without giving it too much thought, but having a guide dog like Wendy really is just that.”

Guide Dogs will join us in the Wellness Centre each day with a demonstration of their dogs’ exceptional skills and there will be an opportunity to learn more about their amazing Buddy Dogs service.



  • gettyimages-2695588.jpg

    Stories from the Estate

    Welcome to the future

  • sir-stirling-moss-fos-1995-james-bareham-mail-on-sunday.jpg

    Stories from the Estate

    Greatest Racing Driver of All Time

  • palace-gardens-tile.jpg

    Stories from the Estate

    Natural Selection