Guide Dogs income rises to £117m as it begins plan to more than double its reach

Guide Dogs saw its income grow by 8 per cent in the first year of its new strategy, and plans to make significant investments in its operations in order to reach 500,000 people by 2023.

Last spring Guide Dogs launched a five-year strategy, By My Side, which aims to more than double the number of people it reaches from 200,000 to 500,000.

Meanwhile, its annual accounts for the financial year to 31 December 2018 show its income grew to £117m.

It generated a surplus of £10m and said this will be used to invest in modernising its offer and will act as the foundation for the launch of a capital appeal.

Guide Dogs plans to invest across its activities to train more dogs and use new technology to support people with sight loss so that it can meet increased demand.

It is also moving to a new operating model that will see it operate eight regional centres supported by 15 community teams, instead of four guide dog training schools with 20 mobility teams.

So far it has acquired a site in Bristol and is looking for a site in North East England. The charity also plans to redevelop existing properties to increase capacity.

Most of Guide Dogs’ income comes from fundraising activity, which rose by £9m to £114m last year.

Some £47m came from legacy income, another £47m from individual donors and £4m from corporate and trust donors.

In the foreword to the accounts, James Hambro, chair, said: “The challenge is immense for Guide Dogs as we see increasing demand for the breadth of specialist services we provide, exacerbated by a continuing strain on public expenditure in providing sufficient support to allow those diagnosed with sight loss to live full lives.

“Our ambitious new five-year strategy, By My Side, documents our plans of how we intend to meet this increased demand, by expanding our service provision to reach and support many more of our beneficiaries over the years to come.”

 

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