GDOCs: Guide Dogs On Campus

Cute AND Caring – are guide dogs the best thing ever?


The Muirhead Tower was overrun by adorable pooches this week, who were there to raise awareness for the Birmingham Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Meet Harry, the labradoodle

Meet Harry, the labradoodle

The guide dogs have been using campus as part of their training and to raise awareness about the university’s ‘Focus on Disability’ event, running until early December.

We tagged along to a drop in workshop which gave an insight into what it’s like to be visually impaired. We took part in seemingly simple activities, like counting out change quickly for the bus, or walking a short distance whilst challenged by wearing a blindfold.

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The workshop also gave advice on how to approach and guide someone who has an impairment, encouraging to always ask if someone looks like they are struggling.

Sue Bushell of Birmingham Guide Dogs told The Tab: “we help students who are blind or partially sighted by giving them independence and mobility in order to get them to school, university or college, sometimes by training and providing them with a guide dog or if a dog is not for them (often the necessity to care for the dog can be a hindrance to socialising, so they may decide to wait until they leave education!)

“By training friends and family in what we call “sighted guiding” techniques, which Lottie had a go at. We provide support in educating establishments about allowing access to assistance dogs and campaigning about things such as cars parking on pavements, street clutter and other things that prevent them moving around freely.”

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Students can get involved in fundraising or volunteering for one of over 50 volunteer roles within the organisation.

Guide Dogs for the Blind will be hosting a stall in the Muirhead Tower foyer until the 6th December selling Christmassy bits and bobs, so next time you’re buying your Starbucks take a look and buy something cute.

The charity are also looking for some student media volunteers who are savvy with creating short videos for them. If you’re interested, email [email protected]

Click here for information on Guide Dogs for the Blind Association or visit their Facebook page