Guide Dogs offers other forms of companionships, other than its well-known four-legged furry kind.

Guide Dogs’ My Guide service pairs sighted volunteers with those who are visually impaired, helping them with simple everyday tasks such as going to the shops, to the theatre or simply out for a walk.

Amanda Bennett, My Guide Operations Manager in the North West, said: “My Guide is one of our fantastic services to help our service users be more mobile and more independent.

“We partner a service user with a sighted volunteer who have similar interests, and they meet up for an hour or two a week (or more if they want!) and do whichever social, leisure or fitness activity they choose.

“We’ve had some incredible success stories over the years, and some amazing friendships have blossomed. We’re always encouraging more volunteers to get involved in our My Guide service, as it really is a fantastic way to get involved and see first-hand the difference they are making”.

Rik was partnered with Louise earlier this year, and their partnership is inspiring and not to mention, fun!

Rik said: “I decided to apply for a My Guide, I had read about the service and decided that I would go for it.

“My guide turned out to be Louise, who I clicked with as soon as we started chatting and I felt like I had always known her.

“What I like about Louise is she doesn’t treat me different, she sees me before my disability.

“It’s her first time doing this, but she is fantastic at it and puts me at ease straight away. Thank you, Guide Dogs. I’m sure there is lots more fun times to be had with my Guide and friend Louise”.

Rik and Louise won the My Guide Partnership Award at Guide Dogs’ annual People Awards last month.

Want more information about My Guide? Email [email protected]