As we have seen over the last couple of months, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on so many people and we have had to continually adapt given the pace at which the virus has spread.

For Guide Dogs’ Client Olivia, her world has been turned upside down and the impact of isolation, social distancing and infection control have had a significant impact on the life that she once knew as “normal”.

Olivia is sitting on the edge of a garden bed with her arms around Jemima, her yellow Guide Dog.

Olivia’s ‘new normal’

Before lockdown, my life consisted of something different nearly every day, often travelling on public transport, meeting new people, and going to places I’d never been before. That means I touch a lot of stuff. Sometimes I need to, like when I’m holding a stair rail for balance or when I’m at a café I’ve never been to before. I really love being able to get out and do my own thing, but all of this means that I am very unlikely to go out. It means my lockdown is essentially ongoing, for a few more months after restrictions have eased at least. I also worry a lot about the long term impact that isolation will have on my Guide Dog Jemima – will she remember the things that we haven’t been able to do in so long because of isolation?  Will she still be able to keep me safe?

Olivia is sitting on a bench with her Guide Dog Jemima at her feet. They are looking toward the camera

Your donation will help us adjust to new ways of working.

Guide Dogs is quickly adapting to the ‘new normal’ to ensure we can continue to deliver life-changing services to people with low vision or blindness. Some of our changes include:

  • Offering a mix of both face-to-face and video or phone calls (sometimes referred to as telepractice) for our clients
  • Conducting training with our wonderful Guide Dogs over Zoom where necessary
  • Ensuring our dogs are being cared for by their trainers or puppy raisers at their home where possible

Your donation will help us adjust our practices so we can continue to help Clients just like Olivia and Guide Dogs like Jemima navigate their way through such isolating and uncertain times.

A group of yellow labradors are sitting on some grass in the sunshine. There are 4 dogs who each have a happy, relaxed expression.