Request a speaker
Our Volunteer speakers are critical to the success of Guide Dogs and a good speaker can inspire an audience in many ways. Often it is through meeting, listening, seeing and learning from one of our volunteer speakers that people feel they know about Guide Dogs. There is no charge for a speaker however, donations are gladly accepted.
During a talk (which can range from 10 minutes upwards), speakers can incorporate information on Guide Dogs as an organisation, along with their own personal experiences i.e. guide dog ownership/partnership; puppy walking experiences; guide dogs' branch/fundraising activities and events; volunteer opportunities and Guide Dogs' key messages. Please ask when booking a speaker if there is a particular subject that you would like covering.
Guide Dogs' speakers are flexible and will accommodate most requests. They are available to visit all groups and organisations. These include; schools and youth groups; social and community groups; business and corporate groups as well as appearing at fundraising events.
Here are four key reasons why speakers are so important:
All talks need to have some fundraising content for one very good reason. Without fundraising income, there would be no Guide Dogs since we have no Government or lottery funding. There are so many different ways in which groups and individuals can get involved and, with your knowledge of fundraising initiatives, you can tailor your talk appropriately.
2. Raising awarenesss and education
Many talks concentrate on an awareness of Guide Dogs and the services we provide. This might include how much it costs to provide a guide dog, how to respond to people with a visual impairment and what Guide Dogs mean to you as a guide dog owner or volunteer. It is also an opportunity to highlight the importance of our work in both ophthalmic and canine research.
3. Education in schools
Speaking in schools is vital if we are to gain the next generation's support and understanding. Some speakers specialise in this area and, depending on the age of the children, cover the importance of eye health, disability issues, what guide dogs do and how the school can support Guide Dogs.
4. Public relations
Promoting a positive image comes from real life stories and experiences and also Guide Dogs' campaigns for equal rights, for example 'Talking Buses', 'Say No to Shared Streets' and 'Access for All'.
Guide Dogs compete for all the public's support with an ever-increasing number of charities. We need people of all ages to support our activities, whether that be through fundraising, puppy walking or campaigning. We need to maintain a positive presence in the community and volunteer speakers play a vital part in raising Guide Dogs' profile.
How to request a speaker
The speaker service is coordinated from our five regional centres. If you would like further details on how to request a speaker, please email firstname.lastname@example.org Alternatively, phone 0345 143 0192.