Thousands have already joined Friends of Guide Dogs. Here's the stories of some of them, and why they decided to join.
Sangeeta Uppaladinni ACIM, guide dog owner
"Personal independence has always been important to me. My guide dog has helped perpetuate this by getting me more involved in the local community, widening my social circle and traveling to unfamiliar places.
My guide dog brings me untold joy, and is my creative muse, encouraging me to push my own personal boundaries and move goal posts, which has seen me go from strength to strength in my life path.
This is what prompted me to join Friends of Guide Dogs. I can share my story and experiences with the online community, gain inspiration from others with vision impairment and exchange information and ideas."
Alison May, guide dog owner
"I’ve had six guide dogs since 1968. They haven’t just provided independent mobility, they have helped me raise a family, have a full and active social life, undertake an interesting and challenging career as a rehabilitation worker and get involved with several voluntary projects.
"My hope is that Friends of Guide Dogs will enable other sight impaired people to hear similar stories and be inspired to seek out the services Guide Dogs can offer, so they too can have greater independence and lead fulfilled lives.
"Being part of this community will provide opportunities for us to support one another and influence the services Guide Dogs provides, to ensure they meet all our needs."
Rt Hon. David Blunkett MP, Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough
"My guide dogs have played an important role throughout my career as an MP, helping me to fulfil my role and to get out and about in my local community. Joining Friends of Guide Dogs gives me the opportunity to help support others living with sight loss and to share some of my experiences. My guide dogs have been familiar faces in the House of Commons, and their antics have been the subject of many an after-dinner speech! I know that, like me, there are lots of people out there who have laughed, cried, worked and lived life to the full with their guide dogs by their side. Signing up as a Friend of Guide Dogs means we can give something back to the organisation which made this all possible. I would thoroughly recommend it."
Naomi Riches MBE, gold medal winning rower at London 2012 Paralympics
"As a gold medal winning Paralympic athlete, I can safely say that my visual impairment hasn't held me back and I truly believe that it should never stop people achieving their dreams. The success I have had is partly due to the support of my amazing family and friends. Being a friend of Guide Dogs gives my family, friends and myself access to an fantastic online community, somewhere we can connect with others living with sight loss and be closer to Guide Dogs as a charity. We get to have our say in the future of Guide Dogs, help out with their essential campaigning work and as an added bonus, we get some great discounts from a range of high street brands. I couldn't recommend it more!"
Wendi Peters, TV and theatre actress
"My husband lost most of his sight 8 years ago due to a genetic condition. Joining Friends of Guide Dogs means that I’m part of a community of people with sight loss and those closest to them. This isn’t just a beacon of support for those who seek it, it’s a chance to make a difference, have a say and play a part in the future of an organisation that changes lives on a daily basis. I would encourage anyone affected by sight loss to sign up."