Blind World Magazine

United Kingdom.
75 years of life-changing independence.

January 26, 2006.
Buchan Observer - Scotland, UK.

BUCHAN guide dog owners are helping The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association to commemorate a journey of faith which began in 1931 when four blind pioneers took the first tentative steps into a new world of opportunity with four very special German Shepherd dogs; Flash, Meta, Judy and Folly - the first guide dogs to walk the streets of the UK.

Three years later in 1934 The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, was founded.

A whole generation of people in Britain have grown up supporting Guide Dogs from collecting milk bottle tops to fund the training of Blue Peter guide dog pup Honey to running the London Marathon.

Over the past 75 years the lives of many thousands of people have been transformed by the independence, confidence and freedom of mobility that a guide dog provides.

As part of the 75th anniversary launch celebrations Guide Dogs will be unveiling a new interactive exhibition called Moving Forward Together.

The exhibition, which will tour museums and shopping centres in the UK throughout the special anniversary year, brings to life the past 75 years of guide dog training through a range of three-dimensional, touch sensitive and audio exhibits.

This means blind and partially-sighted people will be able to appreciate and understand every part of the exhibition.

Visitors to the exhibition will also have the chance to don special glasses which simulate eye conditions. They will be able to experience first-hand the effects of various eye conditions such as cataracts, retinitis pigmentosa and diabetic retinopathy.

Today, Guide Dogs is the world-leader in the breeding and training of guide dogs. Plans to develop a new puppy breeding centre and investment in state-of-the-art dog kennels are well underway, which will ensure the best possible guide dogs for the future.

These developments will enable the charity to increase its capacity to provide guide dogs as it reaches out to a diverse mix of visually impaired people in every corner of the country.

Bridget Warr, chief executive of Guide Dogs, says: "We hope local guide dog owners and supporters of the charity will join us in commemorating the extraordinary partnerships between guide dogs and their owners over the past 75 years.

"We will continue to concentrate on the future needs of blind and partially-sighted people in order to provide the best possible Guide Dogs' service for many years to come."

The Guide Dogs' website provides a complete list of all 75th anniversary events taking place during 2006 - including Blue Peter Dogathons on Sunday, May 28, when the country will go canine-crazy as five fun-filled family days out simultaneously take place at beautiful park locations around the country. Check the Guide Dogs website for your nearest Blue Peter Dogathon event.

Guide Dogs receives no government funding and relies entirely upon donations. If you would like to become more involved with 75th anniversary celebrations in your area, call 0870 600 23 23 or visit the website

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