Four guide dog owners meet strangers for the first time to tell their real-life stories, they reveal the challenges of living with sight loss and the huge difference a guide dog has made to their lives. But as ever, the challenges of dating make for some awkward moments that even the most intuitive dog couldn’t guide you through.
Almost two million people in the UK today are living with sight loss that has a significant impact on their daily lives. Of those, around 180,000 rarely leave their homes alone and can lead lonely, isolated lives.
The video launches the annual Guide Dogs Week running from 7th to 15th October and has been created to inspire people all over the UK to #Moveit for Money and do something they love to raise vital funds for Guide Dogs. More people than ever need a guide dog and the money raised will help the charity ensure that people with sight loss don’t lose out on life.
Commenting on the video, Peter Emmett, Head of Community Fundraising said, “The First Blind Dates concept creates an authentic platform for our four guide dog owners to share their stories of living with sight loss and guide dog ownership with complete strangers. We’re confident that it will inspire people all over the UK to Move it for Money and raise vital funds during Guide Dogs Week.”
And Joe Wade, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Don’t Panic, “We wanted to create a film that told real people’s stories in an inherently engaging and compelling way. By adopting the familiar dating show set up, we were able to create an authentic environment for people to open up and tell their stories first hand. These stories are honest and empowering, highlighting the positive impact Guide Dogs can bring to people’s lives.”
Meet the daters
Cheryl & Mark
Guide Dog owner and adventure-junkie Cheryl Bradshaw is 33 from Glasgow who has been blind since birth. Her date, Mark Williams, is 31 from Liverpool.
Nicki & Harji
Thrill seeker and Guide Dog owner Nicki Cockburn is aged 39, from Cardiff. She met Harji Dillion, a 44-year-old RnB music fan.
Laura & ZeShaan
Sociable Guide Dog owner Laura Bradley is aged 33 from Scotland, and met marathon loving ZeShaan Shamsi, who is aged 32.
Paul & Lorraine
Music fan and Guide Dog owner Paul Johnson, aged 46 lost his sight at nine years old. He met travel enthusiast Lorraine Rogers aged 50.