Go Carz, the biggest private hire taxi operator across Shropshire and the West Midlands, has made a significant cash donation to support the training of guide dogs in the local community.
The local charity for the blind and partially-sighted has, like many others, suffered a drop in donations because of lockdown and as the private hire taxi firm – part of the Veezu Group – offers guide dog-friendly transport, the business has stepped in to help out.
Graham Hoof, Regional Director of Go Carz, said: “Guide Dogs is a charity that does great work within the local community. The group has taken a knock in financial donations during this pandemic as well as having to operate on skeleton staff, because of limited numbers being allowed in the same space as well as some staff having to self-isolate.
“250 people a day lose their sight in the UK – that’s a person every six minutes. Two million people are already living with sight loss and this is set to double by 2050.
“We therefore hope this cash donation will go some small way to alleviate the pressures on the charity.”
It costs as little as £3 to microchip one of the charity’s new guide dog puppies and £8 to support a working guide dog partnership for a day. A collar costs £8, a lead is £15 and a harness just £18 (or £26 for the iconic white harness symbol of a working guide dog.
There are many other ways donations are spent, with it costing £48 for an eye check for a guide dog in training and £710 for a birthing kit, containing all essential equipment for a guide dog mum to safely deliver her puppies.
Mary Conner, Community Fundraising Relationship Manager, said: “It was great to talk to Go Carz staff about the importance of allowing access for Guide Dogs and to hear how seriously staff training is taken.
“While our volunteer community fundraising groups haven’t been visible during Covid, the public are still being very generous. The pandemic has led to a decrease in income and we are extremely grateful to Go Carz for their generous donation. Less than 1% of our income comes from government funding. We have recently launched our Christmas Appeal and 12 Guide Dogs of Christmas, which includes lots of ideas on fundraising while social distancing.
“Volunteers from the Guide Dogs family have also done their upmost to support, with many continuing to provide puppy enrichment in their homes. Our volunteer puppy walker and fundraiser, Sue and dog Maci have been working through early training throughout the pandemic.”
Go Carz was also one of the first transport companies to introduce additional health and hygiene measures this year to make journeys as safe as possible for all passengers and driver-partners. The measures, designed to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, include specialist cleaning regimes, in-vehicle protective screens, the wearing of face coverings and passengers sitting in the rear of the vehicle.