Letters, Thursday, February 12, 2015

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Help make the perfect match

VALENTINE’S Day is all about finding the perfect match and Guide Dogs is appealing for new volunteers so that more of the 79,000 people living with sight loss in the North East can find their perfect match with a guide dog.

 Guide Dog owners have an amazing bond with the dog they are matched with that brings a unique love and friendship that goes beyond ‘guiding’.

 These special partnerships change lives and enable people who are blind and partially sighted to live the life they want to on their own terms.

 Activities that many of us take for granted can seem virtually impossible for a person who is blind and partially sighted; taking your children to school, taking a bus to town, getting to work , college, school or university or getting to the shop to get your loved one a Valentine card and present without assistance are all things Guide Dog owners can do because of their beloved dog.

 Losing your sight can be isolating and confidence sapping but with the companionship of their guide dog people have the self-belief and independence to go out and live the life they want to.

 It was be impossible for Guide Dogs to provide this, and other life changing services, without an army of volunteers who assist my colleagues and our service users. And because our local team wants to support more people in the North East we need your help.

 Could you spare a little time to puppy walk, sighted guide, fund-raise, assist with events, service our collecting boxes, do some admin or research or campaign for us?

 Even a couple of hours a month could help make the vital difference to someone who is blind and partially sighted and see them be part of a match made in heaven with a four legged friend.

 So this Valentine’s Day ‘roses are red and violets are blue, come and volunteer because Guide Dog needs you.’

To find out more, contact newcastle@guidedogs.org.uk or ring 08453727423

Claire Devine

Volunteering Consultant

North East & Cumbria

It’s people power

I WOULD like to congratulate the many people of Houghton, who took the time to attend the public meeting regarding the shameful intentions of Sunderland Council to sell off the historic buildings situated in Rectory Park.

 A meeting which, I am sure, refutes the flippant, off-the-cuff comments made by certain Labour Councillors that the town’s folk didn’t care what became of their ancient buildings. In fact it sends out a message to said councillors on just how passionate local people are and that they are prepared to fight to keep what’s left of their local heritage.

 No more lying down and rolling over if its a fight they want, then a fight they shall get.

 Power to the people.

M Mcardle