Specsavers in Antrim has adopted Guide Dogs NI as its chosen charity for 2019. For the next 12 months, the store team will be engaging in a variety of fundraising activities to support the charity’s work in the local area.
Supporting valuable work
Store director, Davin Quinn says, ‘Since the store opened in 2012 we have selected a local charity to support. In the past, we have had very successful partnerships with Chest, Heart and Stroke, Children in Need and Marie Curie Cancer Care. Guide Dogs NI is very active in the Antrim area and we are looking forward to working with their local fundraisers to help support their valuable work.’
People living with visual impairment on the rise
In Antrim and Newtownabbey area, it is estimated that by 2020 there will be almost 4,500 people living with a visual impairment. Of these 530 will have severe sight loss or blindness. There are currently eight guide dog owners in Antrim and Newtownabbey with another seven waiting for a dog. As well as training and supplying guide dogs the charity supports many more people with its Children and Young People’s service; My Guide service and Mobility and Orientation service.
Donations are essential
Carla Smyth, NI Community Fundraising Development Officer with Guide Dogs NI says, ‘We would like to say a huge thank you to Specsavers in Antrim for choosing to support Guide Dogs NI in 2019. It costs just under £55,000 to train and support a guide dog partnership, and we rely on donations to continue our life-changing work. Every pound raised by the store will make a difference to people in Northern Ireland who are living with sight loss.’