A new service to support people with sight loss getting out and about has been launched in South Yorkshire.
Guide Dogs’ My Guide service is volunteer-led and relies on members of the public donating a couple of hours a week to guide someone in their local community.
Following a successful trial in Rotherham and Doncaster, the service is being rolled out to Sheffield and Barnsley this week, as part of national Volunteers’ Week, and an appeal has now been launched in the region for volunteers.
Jayne Shakespeare, from Rotherham, started using the My Guide service two months ago.
“The My Guide service has made a huge difference to my life in a short space of time,” said the 57-year-old, who started to lose her sight five years ago due to a tumour that began growing under her optic nerve.
“I’ve been able to regain some of the independence I had before my sight was affected. It has given me the opportunity to start to enjoy activities that I used to love, as well giving me the opportunity to go out shopping or to visit country parks. I really wanted to get back into yoga and my My Guide Amy has helped to make this happen.”
Jayne’s My Guide volunteer Amy Crookes, 34, a business development manager from Rotherham, has also felt the benefit of the service: “I get a lot out of volunteering,” she said.
“I’ve made a new friend and am starting to have new experiences too. It’s really flexible, rewarding and diverse. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who would like to get involved in volunteering.”
Visit www.guidedogs.org.uk/myguide for details.