Barnstaple fundraisers reach £13,000 milestone for Guide Dogs

Labrador / Golden Retriever mix Yoyo is a working guide dog

Labrador / Golden Retriever mix Yoyo is a working guide dog - Credit: Guide Dogs

Local fundraisers in Barnstaple have won recognition this Volunteers’ Week for raising £13,000, funding a guide dog into a partnership with someone with sight loss.

Thanks to these hard-working volunteers, guide dog Yoyo (pictured) is now fully funded to support someone with sight loss for his working dog career.

It costs around £55,000 to breed, train and support a guide dog throughout their life. Guide Dogs continues to support the dogs during their time working as a guide, so the £13,000 figure covers the cost of food, vets’ bills and ongoing training after the dog is partnered with someone with sight loss.

The Barnstaple fundraising group, made up entirely of volunteers, raised the sum through local green token schemes and schools choosing to sponsor puppies.

This year the group have also been selected as one of the chosen charities to receive the proceeds from the Great Torrington Cavaliers bonfire event, taking place in August.

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Krissie Isaac, of Guide Dogs, said: “This amazing group of volunteers have done incredibly well to raise this sum, especially with the social restrictions in place for most of 2020.

“Volunteers kindly offer their time, support and energy to our charity. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to continue our work.

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“Our guide dogs are truly life-changing, allowing people with sight loss to enjoy the same freedom and independence as everyone else.

“We are so proud of our volunteers and would like to thank them for everything they do. We also wish to recognise the fantastic support that the group receives from individuals and businesses within the local community.”

The Guide Dogs story started in 1931 with two amazing British pioneers, Muriel Crooke and Rosamund Bond. These remarkable women organised the training of the first four British guide dogs from a humble lock up garage in Wallasey, Merseyside.

Guide Dogs provides full training for all volunteers. To find out about volunteering for Guide Dogs, visit or call Guide Dogs on 0800 781 1444.

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