Making a difference
Our guide dogs help their blind or partially sighted owners live life to the full, helping to celebrate life every day. A donation to Guide Dogs in memory of a loved one will provide a lasting tribute and can bring great comfort in knowing that your support is changing someone’s life.
People choose to support Guide Dogs for a variety of reasons, like the ones below.
Some people have had a close bond with a family pet, and want to support a charity that works with and depends on the same trusting relationship with dogs.
Peter Duckett initially set up a tribute fund in memory of his fiancé, Vanessa Williams – they both loved golden retrievers – and the fund is now supported by Vanessa’s mother and sister. Peter said:
“I think the idea of the tribute fund is one of the best I’ve ever come across because it’s such a personal thing to do, and you know that what you’ve contributed achieves something very specific.”
Some people have a friend who’s blind or partially sighted and have seen the difference a guide dog can make, or some people want to remember the guide dogs that have changed their own lives.
Jasmine Hymas has commemorated her guide dog Darcy in our Paws for Thought Book of Remembrance.
"I first met my wonderful Darcy in 2002 at my last assessment for a guide dog. When I was told I had passed and then asked whether I would like to have Darcy, I lost my voice!
He was a wonderful boy; my very precious and faithful dog who loved his work right up to his last illness. He was very good at looking after me and made sure I was never in danger - many times he saved my life. In 2007 he was awarded Guide Dog of the Year for changing my life. I was so proud of him, but he did deserve it. I never had any trouble with him and he was such a good, loving boy, who has sadly left me, but we will meet again. He meant the world to me, and it is so touching that he is included in the Paws for Thought Book, so that he’s not forgotten."
Some people have simply grown up with Guide Dogs and want to help safeguard the charity’s future. Shelagh Gant’s mum, Janet Harris, had always shown a keen interest in Guide Dogs’ work, so Shelagh felt that establishing a tribute fund would be a good way to support Guide Dogs and keep her mother’s memory alive. Shelagh’s father, Geoffrey, supported her in her fundraising, and now he is also remembered through the fund after he sadly passed away a few years later. Shelagh said:
“Saving to name our puppy in their memory helps us to feel we’re doing something useful with our time. We’d rather give to that than spend money on flowers on their anniversaries. Also, having the opportunity to arrange events to support the fund gives a great boost and allows us to help others while remembering mum and dad.”
The reasons, whatever they are, are personal and close to people’s hearts. We wanted to share some of the many moving stories we hear at Guide Dogs. In doing so, these supporters are helping to transform the lives of blind and partially sighted people across the UK.