The Lincoln Guide Dogs for the Blind Association are rallying support as they near a £1 million funding milestone, and Chair Catherine Ball is telling the story of how the charity gave her confidence.
The branch are now only £20,000 short of their target, having already managed to raise £980,000, and they are looking for as many new volunteers as possible to come forward.
The charity say a guide dog costs around £50,000 per dog, plus around a further £8,000 for food and vet bills during its working life and in retirement.
Accountant Catherine Bell (44) began to lose her sight at 8-years-old, and by her mid-thirties had been registered blind.
She said: “I dreaded having to leave the house alone and would always make up excuses so as not to go out.
“I would invite my friends to come to my house all the time, and if possible pick up some shopping for me on their way.
“I could cope if I was with other people. In fact, the journeys with my children were the easiest as, by holding my hand, they became my carers.”
Catherine’s current Guide Dog Moss, and her two previous dogs Glennie and Tasmin have given Catherine new confidence and independence.
She is now enjoying work and life with 2-year-old Moss and they have a very close relationship.
She added: “Moss has been to his first wedding and disco and coped very well with everyone loving him too. He is a very affectionate dog and we get on very well — long may that continue”.
The next fundraising event will be the Lincoln Guide Dogs for the Blind Craft Day and Coffee Morning at Croft Street (St Swithin’s) Community Centre.
“This event is a really nice way for people to come and have a fun morning, support Guide Dogs, but also find out more about being part of the Lincoln branch,” added Catherine.