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07 July, 2016

Mudgee Field Days

A black Guide Dog guides his handler alongside a river bank

Guide Dogs spreads important message at Mudgee Field Days

Residents living in Central NSW having trouble getting around due to vision loss, or those who know someone who is, are invited to drop by the Guide Dogs NSW/ACT stand at the Mudgee Small Farm Field Days from July 15 to 16.

As the leading provider of Guide Dogs and orientation and mobility services that enable people who are blind or vision impaired to get around their communities safely, the organisation will have an information stand in the Founders Pavilion to raise awareness of its local services that are provided at no cost.

"While we're known for our Guide Dogs and puppies, we're attending the field days to highlight our most common program, which is teaching people valuable skills to help them safely move around their environment, using a range of mobility aids like the long cane and electronic devices," Guide Dogs NSW/ACT Regional Manager, Regina Renfree said.

Ms Renfree also stressed that Guide Dogs Orientation & Mobility Specialists travel to wherever their services are required.

"We come to you, wherever that may be - your home, your workplace, your school or university - learning to find your way around your particular environment is a top priority."

With the prevalence of vision loss increasing across the country, the field days will also help Guide Dogs highlight their need for financial support to meet the growing demand for services.

"Every day 28 Australians are diagnosed with uncorrectable vision loss, including nine who become blind, and these figures are predicted to increase by more than 50 per cent by 2030," Ms Renfree said.

"As we receive less than 2 per cent of our funding needs from the government, we rely on the public's generosity to fund our services, which are all provided at no cost to those who need them."

To help raise funds, Guide Dogs branded merchandise will be on sale at the field days and staff will be available to discuss other ways the public can support the organisation, such as including a gift in their Will.

"Bequests are a very special and valuable way in which a supporter can help us to make a real difference to the life of someone who is blind or vision impaired," Guide Dogs NSW/ACT Planned Giving Manager, Sally Biles said.

"Over the years, bequests have allowed Guide Dogs NSW/ACT to evolve and to meet the growing demand for our services."

"Should you generously decide to leave a gift in your will to Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, please let us know so we can keep you up to date with our work and invite you to our Guide Dog Graduation days at our training centre as well as other supporter events."

For more information about Guide Dogs NSW/ACT's free, local services visit contact their regional office in Orange on 6362 6625.