Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page. I'm raising money for Guide Dogs, which is a charity very close to my own heart.
I have the eye condition, Glaucoma, which was first diagnosed over fifteen years ago. At first my eye condition did not cause me many problems and I was able to continue my job as a Physical Education teacher in West Sussex but my life changed in 2008 when I was registered blind/partially sighted. Not being able to drive meant my job was untenable as I couldn't take the school teams to and from matches in the minibus. I was luckier than most people and I was able to retire early from my teaching job without financial worries.
Before teaching I was a professional football player. I had a good football career representing my country at every level; schoolboy, youth, intermediate (under 23) and finally achieving full England Honours.
I played for many top English teams, including Burnley, Everton, Middlesbrough, Portsmouth, QPR and Wolverhampton, as well as playing in the North American soccer league for Vancouver Whitecaps.
Since losing my sight I have had three operations but unfortunately there is no improvement in my vision. Although I still enjoy golf, fly fishing, carriage driving and gardening, I have to rely on family and friends to take me out. This year I decided to apply for a guide dog. Guide Dogs has always been a charity close to my own heart; both of my elderly parents were diagnosed with Glaucoma, which is one of the reasons that my wife, Brenda and I had moved back to the North East in 2010.
The support that Guide Dogs have given me during the application process has been life changing. The charity has provided me with long cane training as well as the confidence to go out on my
own again to busy places. The support of the local Guide Dogs Mobility team have helped me recover my independence and taught me numerous skills to enable me to get out and about safely despite my loss of vision. I would like to especially thank Linda Oliver and David Waterfall-Brown from the Newcastle team, who have helped me to accept my sight loss and who have given me the skills and confidence to get out and about again and to live life without limits.
Guide Dogs receive no government funding for the guide dog service and therefor rely entirely on donations from the public and business community. Each lifetime partnership, from birth to retirement, costs the charity a staggering £55,000.
Sight loss has been life changing but so are Guide Dogs. Thank you for reading my story and for your kind donation.
A Massive thank you....
Thank you so much to every single person who has donated to my fundraising page so far. I'm totally overwhelmed by the response I've had from friends, family, past pupils and football fans! I'm very grateful for everyone who has taken the time to visit my page and for the resulted generosity. Thank you to everyone who has contributed and for all your kind messages and stories, which I’ve greatly enjoyed reading.
When I started fundraising I had no idea that we would hit the initial target so quickly, I really am overwhelmed by the fantastic support that I've received. To top it all off, I've had my guide dog assessment and I've since been told by Guide Dogs that I am officially on the waiting list for a guide dog! I'm delighted by the news; it's the best Christmas present ever. On that note I'm keener than ever to keep the page going and to continue the phenomenal support for such a well-deserved charity. Please do continue to share the page.
With huge thanks, David
Guide Dogs would like to thank every single person who has donated to David’s fundraising page! We are delighted by the support that we have received and can’t thank you enough for your generosity.
Each and every donation will make a huge difference to the work we do:
£5 will support a working guide dog partnership for a day
£10 could pay for an eye check for a guide dog in training
£25 could pay for annual vaccinations for a working guide dog
£50 could buy an Off to School Kit for a puppy moving into their first stage of training
Many thanks for your overwhelming support.