I’ve got my life back now

Lynn so grate­ful for guide dog

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - New Start - Ju­dith Ton­ner

An Airdrie woman who lost her sight has told how she is en­joy­ing a new lease of life since be­ing paired with her “wee gem” of a guide dog.

Lynn Barr says golden labrador Eva “has bright­ened my mood, im­proved my con­fi­dence and given me my in­de­pen­dence back.”

Now she has joined the new­ly­formed Airdrie fundrais­ing branch of Guide Dogs, whose mem­bers are en­cour­ag­ing fel­low Mon­k­lands res­i­dents and busi­nesses to get in­volved in sup­port­ing the char­ity.

Lynn first con­tacted Guide Dogs last year and first teamed up with Eva just two months ago.

The 58-year-old has been liv­ing with sight loss for 20 years due to hered­i­tary con­di­tion re­tini­tis pig­men­tosa, which re­sults in tun­nel vi­sion and night blind­ness.

She said: “I had to give up driv­ing, which left me feel­ing de­pressed as I had lost my in­de­pen­dence; I re­luc­tantly got train­ing in us­ing the long cane which I didn’t re­ally like us­ing but I had to, to keep me safe when out in pub­lic places.”

“I had a phone call from the char­ity to say they’d like me to meet a dog and started train­ing with Eva in Au­gust.

“We seemed to get along great, and both suc­cess­fully qual­i­fied two weeks later. Eva is just a wee gem – she’s so clever and has made me laugh and cry with joy.”

Airdrie res­i­dent Lynn is now among 530 guide dog own­ers across Scot­land.

Speak­ing ahead of the an­nual Guide Dogs week, which be­gins on Satur­day, she added: “I’m so thank­ful to Eva’s vol­un­teer puppy walker, who raised her for a year and set the foun­da­tions for her.

“I can­not thank Guide Dogs enough for the great job they do giv­ing blind peo­ple their life back.”

Now char­ity rep­re­sen­ta­tives are hop­ing lo­cal peo­ple will lend their sup­port to its Airdrie group, which runs fundrais­ers rang­ing from tea par­ties and pub quizzes to su­per­mar­ket col­lec­tions in sup­port of the char­ity, which re­lies on do­na­tions to pro­vide its ser­vices.

Com­mu­nity fundraiser Tammy Robin­son said: “Each guide dog costs our char­ity over £55,000 from birth to re­tire­ment – and with the sup­port of the com­mu­nity, we hope we can help more pup­pies on their way to be­com­ing life-chang­ers like Eva.

“There are lots of ways for peo­ple to help, whether they want to spare an hour a month or a cou­ple of hours a week; and busi­nesses can also help by host­ing a col­lec­tion box.

“Vol­un­teer­ing is a great way to have fun and meet new peo­ple, while mak­ing a big dif­fer­ence to peo­ple with sight loss.”

For more de­tails, email tammy. robin­son@guide­dogs.org.uk or call 07468 711904.

Lynn Barr with her guide dog Eva

She’s so clever and has made me laugh and cry with joy

Great team

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