Bayleys announces partnership with Guide Dog Services
Bayleys Realty Group has entered into a three-year partnership with the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind’s Guide Dog Services.
Bayleys has become principal sponsor of Guide Dog Services which breeds and trains dogs to enable blind and visually impaired people to lead more fulfilling and independent lives.
Bayleys’ executive chairman John Bayley says the sponsorship will involve financial support as well as assisting Guide Dog Services with fundraising, promotional and marketing activities.
“It’s a great cause and we’ve set a target of helping them provide 100 more guide dogs nationally.”
There are currently over 260 working guide dogs in New Zealand. It costs around $22,500 to raise and train a guide dog over a period of around 18 months.
“There is a substantial waiting list of people who would benefit from a guide dog. Our aim is to help Guide Dog Services reduce or eliminate that waiting list as well as assisting them to maintain their world leadership position in guide dog breeding, training and matching,” says Mr Bayley.
As part of its sponsorship, Bayleys has naming rights over a yellow Labrador retriever guide dog puppy – called Bayley – which the company is using in its marketing material to promote its relationship with Guide Dog Services and increase public awareness and support for the organisation.
Mr Bayley says in addition to providing national financial support, Bayleys network of offices around the country will undertake local and regional initiatives for Guide Dog Services and staff will be encouraged to become involved in individual sponsorship programmes.
Bayleys’ offices and staff will be supporting the 2004 national Guide Dog Appeal which hits the streets from April 2 – 4. Guide Dog Services’ Wellington region will also receive the funds raised from a charity auction at Bayleys’ national conference in Wellington in early April.
Paula Daye, RNZFB Chief Executive, says Bayleys’ support means many more New Zealanders will have the opportunity to build a unique and profound partnership with a guide dog.
Guide dogs help a blind person to get around safely, with greater speed and confidence. Dogs are trained to guide their owners around hazards, negotiate traffic, locate common destinations such as the supermarket and travel on public transport.
“A trained guide dog offers so much independence to the life of a blind or vision-impaired person,” says Mrs Daye. “The partnership and bond that exists between a guide dog and their handler is hard to put into words. They share ties of trust, loyalty and friendship - in so many ways it is a relationship quite like no other.”