Gulliver's travels for Guide Dogs
GULLIVER, the 5m-tall guide dog, was a commanding presence in Prince St yesterday and did his job of making sure everyone doing their shopping saw an information stand sitting at his feet.
Sister Elizabeth Jabour, who lost her sight 18 years ago, was on hand to talk about the benefits of Guide Dogs NSW, and how it offers a magnitude of free services to the blind and vision-impaired people of the Clarence.
“I was a little bit slow getting help, which is something I really regret now,” Sr Elizabeth said.
“I have been using the services Guide Dogs provide for about 16 years, and during that time I have gained a real sense of independence.
“I would really recommend that anyone who could use the services get in touch with the organisation because it is better to familiarise yourself with the aids before you really need them.”
Matt Wood and Taylor Bradshaw, of Guide Dogs NSW, stressed the organisation did not just provide dogs for blind and vision-impaired people, it also offered a host of training services and other forms of aids.
“We really try to educate people about what we offer and how it can enrich the lives of people,” Matt said.
Guide Dogs NSW trains people to use canes, canines and electronic aids to improve their mobility and thus their independence and quality of life, as well as training companion dogs for children and adults who are disabled or disadvantaged owing to age, isolation or ill health.
They also advocate on behalf of the people they assist to make the community an easier place in which to live and work.
Guide Dogs NSW does not charge for its services and does not receive government funding.
Everything it achieves is made possible by the generosity of donors, bequests and volunteers.
In NSW and the ACT there are about 100,000 people who have a vision impairment severe enough to cause problems with daily living.
If you feel that someone you know could benefit from the services of Guide Dogs NSW, contact the Coffs Harbour office on 66527424.