Nottingham Mobility Team Newsletter

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1 Nottingham Mobility Team Newsletter Autumn 2014 Welcome From The Team Hello Everyone, It is a really exciting time for the team and all our service users as we continue to expand and grow our core guide dog service and reach new communities as we offer more services, both for adults and children. As you will read, there are lots of opportunities for people to continue to support us whether this is as a valued volunteer, getting your friends and family to support Guide Dogs Week in October or by becoming a member of the Friends of Guide Dogs membership scheme. I would really encourage everyone to join, it is a great opportunity for guide dogs to better understand what our service users and supporters need and to help shape the charity. Kirstie Bower, Mobility Team Manager Kirstie Kirstie Bower, Mobility Team Manager In This Issue News Updates from around the region, hello and goodbye, and an update from your Service User Representatives Update on our services Onwards and upwards Volunteering My Guide volunteers needed, Sensory Experience Unit and Could you be Fundraising Blind Drive 2014 and Let s Glow Campaigning New laws on dog attacks Events

2 News Updates From Around The Region A comprehensive volunteer boarder training and communication framework has been launched. If you board our dogs in any capacity, this is for you! Look out for more details over the coming months or get in touch if you d like more information. Guide Dogs has officially launched Friends of Guide Dogs. It s a community of people with sight loss, who will help us to ensure that we re able to support them now and in the future. The scheme is free to join and will be vital in helping more people feel engaged and involved with our work so welcomes friends, family and supporters of our cause to join too. When you become a friend of Guide Dogs, you ll receive lots of benefits, as well as being able to give us your feedback online and at focus groups. To find out more visit or call Follow and like Guide Dogs at: As part of National Volunteers Week in June, Guide Dogs paid tribute to the amazing dedication and work of our volunteers, by hosting a lunch with the executive board at the National Breeding Centre. Five lucky volunteers from the Nottingham Mobility Team joined colleagues from all around the country for a Q &A session, lunch and tour of the centre. We only wish we could have invited all our volunteers, but with over 500 on our patch, we hope you understand! But we do want to say a huge thank you to all of you for the valuable work you do. We couldn t run our services without you.

3 News Hello and Goodbye Sadly, we have had to say goodbye to some of our team recently. Vicky Coleman, one of our Mobility Instructors, has headed off to a new life in the USA and Laraine Wakelin and David Locklin, both Guide Dog Mobility Instructors (GDMIs), also headed stateside in July. They will all be missed. However, we do have a new trainee GDMI, Rhys Gorman, joining us in February and have also recruited two further trainees who will begin their training over the next few months. Wendy Jones has also joined us as a Mobility Services Support Worker. An update from your Service User Representatives Hello! We are Sue and Terry, your Service User Representative and Assistant for the area. During the past three months, we have been working with new guide dog owners (GDOs) and also supporting current GDOs throughout the region, but don't forget that we are here to offer help and support to anyone who needs us, and that includes people with buddy dogs, also anyone working with young people. Unfortunately, we are unable to help you find holiday borders for your dogs but if you are in real difficulty, please feel free to contact us (or the office) for advice and guidance. We look forward to working with you in the future and welcome contact with you. Best wishes and warm regards from us both. Sue Brookes: or Terry Prater (Assistant): or Sue Brookes, Service User Representative

4 Our Services Onwards and Upwards Since the last newsletter, a lot has been happening in the team! Our Guide Dog Mobility Instructors (GDMIs) continue to work hard to qualify as many new guide dog partnerships as possible and they ve been doing a great job! We are still on target to achieve our aim of 53 partnerships this year. We continue to receive new applications and are working hard to reduce waiting times, so please do bear with us. As many of you will know, we also now have a range of other services available. Our My Guide service continues to develop; helping blind and partially sighted people to get out and about and achieve their goals. Also, following the launch of Blind Children UK, our Children and Young People s services are continuing to grow. I mentioned in the last newsletter that we were looking to recruit a Senior Practitioner to support our children s services and I am happy to announce that we have recently appointed Alice White to this role. Alice is currently working as a Mobility Instructor in the Nottingham team and will transition to the role over the next few months. In her new role Alice will be continuing to develop the services in our area as well as providing support for the teams in Nottingham, Leeds and Hull. I wish you all the very best and as always, if you would like any further information about any of our services, please do contact the team. Sarah Sarah Wild, Service Delivery Manager Sarah Wild, Service Delivery Manager

5 Volunteering My Guide Volunteers Needed My Guide, our community sighted guiding service, will be an ongoing volunteer need for us as this important service develops across our region. If you re already in a volunteering role, but would like to enhance your skills with a bit more hands on experience, please get in touch. We are finding a number of guide dog owners are benefitting from the My Guide Service too, especially for assistance when free running dogs so My Guide can be the best of both worlds. For an informal chat about what s involved, please give Dave Clough a call at the office on or Sensory Experience Unit Our new unit can be a fantastic asset at events and is a fun learning experience too, but to make it work, we need help. Would you be interested in operating the unit? This would include driving, setting up, enthusiastically encouraging the public through the experience and to support Guide Dogs. We are hoping to promote the unit in schools, colleges and universities during the week in addition to events, fetes and fairs at weekends. This is a great opportunity to have some fabulous and fun days out, all for a good cause. Please get in touch if you d like more details. Help lead the way Sense and sensibility Could You Be... Other volunteer roles currently needed include puppy walkers, fundraisers, collection box co-ordinators and drivers. For a full list visit or call the office on for more details.

6 Fundraising Blind Drive 2014 Our Blind Drive is fast approaching so make sure you don t miss out on the chance of getting behind the wheel at Donington Park s Heritage Loop. People who have a visual impairment can experience driving a car or people with sight will be able to try it blindfolded with guidance from a driving instructor. Individuals or teams can sign up for the event on Saturday 13 September, however, places are limited and you have to book in advance to take part. There are various options in regards to minimum sponsorship depending on if you are an individual taking part or entering a team. For more information please contact the office on or Get into the fast lane Lets Glow Together Guide Dogs Week is also fast approaching and to mark the occasion we re asking our supporters to Stand Out for Guide Dogs so let s glow together from 4-12 October. Last year Direct Line call centre in Doncaster got involved by inviting us in for a Lets Glow Collect session. Guide dog owners and puppy walkers went along and had a great day meeting the staff and talking about guide dogs. Fundraising envelopes were placed on all desks and the staff were able to go and meet the pups in their lunch breaks. Over 300 was collected on the day. If your company can get involved please contact the Nottingham Mobility Team on or To download your fundraising pack ready to Glow for Guide Dogs Week 2014 go to

7 Campaigning New Laws On Dog Attacks We ve had great success with our Dog Attacks campaign. The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill finally received Royal Assent, which means a dog attack on an assistance dog could now lead to the owner being punished with up to three years imprisonment, as it will be classed as an aggravated offence. Nottinghamshire Police have signed up to a service level agreement outlining how they will act and react if a dog attack happens on an assistance dog. We are hoping that Derbyshire and South Yorkshire will sign up soon. In this region we are fortunate that the rate of attacks are extremely low and not severe, however, as part of the agreement we re asking for guide dog owners, who have to call 999 because of a dog attack, to mention the following so that their calls are made a priority and dealt with appropriately by the call handler at the police station: 1. Mention that the dog that has been attacked is an assistance dog, not a domestic pet 2. Mention that you are visually impaired or blind 3. If you are on your own mention that you are alone and if you feel vulnerable 4. Provide vital information about the attack including any injuries sustained to the dog and yourself Attacks on assistance dogs will carry tougher sentencing Nottinghamshire Police have signed up to the Service Level Agreement for attacks on assistance Dogs

8 Events Sign Up, Take Part And Get Involved Blind Drive 2014 Saturday 13 September 10am-4pm Donington Race Track, Heritage Loop This is a fabulous experience for people who are blind, visually impaired or sighted. It gives people the chance to drive blindfolded in a dual control BSM car. Please contact the office to find out about the various sponsorship levels. Coniston Challenge September Coniston, Lake District, Cumbria An extreme challenge event comprising of a 10km walk, 12km mountain bike ride and a 1km kayak. Join one of our teams that range from the athletic, to those who just want to have a go. For more information contact Guide Dogs Week 4-12 October Let s Glow for Guide Dogs through collections, coffee mornings and dress down days all brilliant ways to help raise money and get our message across. Find out more about how you can fundraise for us and campaign throughout the week by contacting the office, details below. Christmas Wraps December Victoria Centre, Nottingham Santa s helpers will be wrapping gifts in exchange for a donation to Guide Dogs. Can you help by wrapping shoppers gifts? Or by donating some wrapping paper? Alternatively bring your gifts to the shopping centre and give a donation. Registered charity in England and Wales (209617) and in Scotland (SCO38979)

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