Ford Ireland has renewed its partnership with Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. Ford has been a partner of the nationwide charity from soon after the charity was established in 1976. Working across the country, Irish Guide Dogs is dedicated to helping people who are vision impaired and families of children with autism to achieve improved mobility and independence.
Speaking at the announcement of the partnership renewal, Ciarán McMahon, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford Ireland, said: “We are hugely proud of the long-standing partnership with Irish Guide Dogs – the charity’s work is literally life-changing for the hundreds of people throughout the country who have a Guide or Assistance Dog that has been trained by Irish Guide Dogs. We are delighted to support the staff and volunteers at Irish Guide Dogs in the valuable work they do”.
Participating in the launch of the Ford partnership renewal were two new puppies, Henry and Ford, named in honour of Ford’s ongoing support of the charity. Henry and Ford are two of the latest ‘intake’ of puppies who will be trained as Guide or Assistance Dogs by the charity. It takes a full two years of full-time training for a dog to become a Guide or Assistance Dog. Guide and Assistance Dogs then go on to work for an average of eight years. It costs approximately €38,000 to breed, train and support a single working dog for the duration of its working life.
Ciarán McMahon, Chairman and Managing Director, Ford Ireland (holding trainee Guide Dog Henry); and Padraig Mallon, CEO of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind (holding trainee Guide Dog Ford)
Padraig Mallon, CEO, of Irish Guide Dogs, said: “We are hugely indebted to Ford for their continued support of our work. It is a great opportunity to partner with a highly respected brand which is known and loved across the country. Ford will help us greatly in generating the funds we need in order to create life changing opportunities for people who are vision impaired and families of children with autism. Ford have given us the practical support we need with our fleet, our car raffle and with our marketing and it’s great that the Ford team are fully committed to the work we do!”
The most significant element of the charity’s fundraising drive, supported by Ford, is the upcoming nationwide “Heroes Appeal” running from 5 to 12 April. This will see the mobilization of an army of Irish Guide Dogs volunteers who will carry out on-street collections in the following locations:
– Limerick City on April 5, 6 and 7
– Dublin City on April 6 and 7
– Cork City on April 7 and 12
– Galway City on April 7
Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind is a national charity which provides vital services to blind or vision-impaired people and families of children with autism to enable them to achieve increased mobility, independence and an improved quality of life. It costs over €5 million to fund the charity on an annual basis with statutory funding only providing 15% meaning the majority of the funding has to come from public donations. The charity provides Guide and Assistance Dogs and full support to clients across Ireland totally free of charge.
For more information: www.guidedogs.ie or call 1850 506 300.