When it comes to choosing a travel buddy, we all know that trust is key. We need someone we can trust to be at the airport on time. Someone we can trust to want to see the same sights, to be up early for that 6 am tour, and to help us find our way back to the hotel at the end of a long night. But how many of us think of a travel buddy as someone we need to trust with our life?

For Erin, one of an estimated 575,000 Australians living with blindness or low vision, being able to trust her travel buddy Jet, means just that. You see, Jet is a Guide Dog; one of hundreds of Labradors bred, raised and trained each year by Guide Dogs Australia to enable someone just like Erin to live safely and independently.

Every day, Erin – along with thousands of other Australians – puts her trust in her Guide Dog to help her overcome barriers and achieve her goals. Every day, these iconic dogs open up new and unimagined possibilities for their Handlers, just like Jet did for Erin on a recent trip to Cradle Mountain, Tasmania.

With Jet by her side, Erin decided to take on the challenge of walking a three-hour hike – something she says she never would have had the confidence to tackle if it wasn’t for Jet. The pair set off on an adventure, navigating all types of terrain from uneven footpaths and boardwalks with steep drop-offs to unconventional stairs and, according to Erin, having the most wonderful time.

This was a huge achievement and one Erin will be proud of for many years to come – just as Guide Dogs Australia has been proud to support people just like Erin to reach their full potential for over 60 years.

To achieve this, trust must be at the heart of everything we do; from the trust Clients put in us to provide the support and care they need, to the trust between a person with blindness or low vision and their Guide Dog.

It is also vital that this trust extends to the community who help fund over 80% of our services through generous donations, putting their faith in us to provide services that assist people living with blindness or low vision to lead independent, safe and fulfilling lives.

As Australia’s Most Trusted Charity Brand, we know we have the trust, generosity and support of our community, which during 2020 has been more important than ever before. With your help, we have been able to continue the crucial work we do every day under even the toughest of circumstances. Together, we are transforming lives, all through the power of trust.

Give the gift of independence this Christmas

It has been a challenging year for us all, but even during the most trying of times, there have still been heroes.

Guide Dog Kamin has certainly been a hero this year for his Handler, Sean. Sean has Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that causes low vision over time, and looked to Guide Dogs Australia to help him navigate his daily life.

Sean was matched with beautiful Guide Dog Kamin, and very quickly became more confident and independent traversing the streets with Kamin by his side.

“A big part of my day involves getting our four-year-old daughter to childcare. I used to struggle with this with my long cane but Kamin allows me to spend much more time with my daughter – I can now stop at our favourite local café on the way and we enjoy a hot chocolate together – something that we could never have done previously. Kamin knows the exact way to childcare, and my daughter thinks it is one big game, with Kamin leading us both. We love our morning walks, and my daughter now skips her way to childcare, and I am able to hold her hand as I know Kamin will get us there safely.”

Kamin is one of hundreds of iconic Guide Dogs opening up new and unimagined possibilities for people just like Sean every year. People who put their trust in Guide Dogs Australia to help them live safely and independently and achieve their full potential.

It takes $50,000 and two years to breed, raise and train each Guide Dog – and this is all made possible thanks to the generosity and support of people just like you, who trust Guide Dogs Australia to make a difference.

Help us make a difference by giving the gift of independence this Christmas. Donate to Guide Dogs Australia today and help us breed, raise and train more dogs that will enable people living with blindness or low vision to lead independent, safe and fulfilling lives.

Donate securely online at https://guidedogsaustralia.com/trustedbrand/

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