Guide Dogs NI will be taking up a collection at Saturday’s game with Ards and Glenavon would ask all supporters to give generously to this worthy cause.

Guide Dogs NI deliver a range of life changing mobility services for people who are blind and partially sighted, the most iconic of which is our guide dog service.

In the Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon area alone there are currently over 5,400 people living with sight loss. In Northern Ireland as a whole, this figure rises to over 50,000 people living with a visual impairment. Many of those living with sight loss never leave home alone and almost half of those who lose their sight go on to battle depression.

Our team help people with a visual impairment do the everyday tasks which we often take for granted; like getting to work, walking children to school, meeting up with friends or popping out for some groceries.

At Guide Dogs NI, we make sure that when someone loses their sight, they do not lose their freedom, independence and confidence too.

Guide Dogs also offers a number of other services for clients who don’t want or are not suitable for a guide dog:

• We provide mobility and orientation training for long cane users to ensure that they can get about independently and safely.
• Our My Guide scheme enables individuals to become more mobile, confident and engaged in their communities.
• Our Children and Young People’s Services open up the world for children and young people living with sight loss and their families.
• Guide Dogs NI also campaign passionately about the issues that affect the independence and mobility of people with sight loss – rights that most sighted people take for granted.

It costs around £56,000 to support a guide dog from birth to retirement, which is why fundraising by the public is so important.