Guide Dogs services for children, young people and families

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Guide Dogs services for children, young people and families

Service details

We are Guide Dogs. And we’re here to help people with sight loss live the life they choose. Children and adults, friends and family, parents and professionals. Whoever you are, our expert staff, volunteers and life-changing dogs are here to help you.

Main telephone

0800 781 1444


The page was last updated on 19 January 2021

Service summary

We’re here to give advice and emotional support from the moment your child is diagnosed with a vision impairment. Our team of experts has many years of experience working with children and their families, and can introduce you to a range of services based on your child’s needs.

Further information

There are a range of services we can introduce you to depending on your child’s needs, such as:

  • Education support. Our specialist team can offer independent and tailored advice to help your child receive all the educational support they are entitled to. From helping to choose the right nursery, school or college, to working with teachers and special education staff or advising on assistive technologies.
  • CustomEyes books. No child should miss out on the joy of reading – and we can produce books in large-print, tailor-made to suit your child’s eye condition. We have a range of books available, including non-fiction, popular fiction titles and annuals. We can also provide National Curriculum revision guides for home and school.
  • Technology advice service, including grants. Our grants help cover the cost of sensory equipment and assistive technology (also called access or adaptive technology), which can empower children, helping them become independent learners through apps and games. We can also offer advice on technology and software that can help children and young people access information and online resources on their own.
  • Early diagnosis family support. Our specialist team can offer information, advice and guidance from the early stages following diagnosis. Further help can include health and welfare advice, practical and emotional support and signposting to other organisations and services.  
  • Family events. Every year we host a UK-wide programme of family activity days. Here your child and their siblings can play and take part in activities together – alongside other children with sight loss. Meanwhile, parents can share experiences, support each other and access specialist advice from our team. We also host an early diagnosis weekend to support families at this critical time.
  • Life skills. We’re here to help your child learn and practise tasks that are important to daily life, confidently and safely. From supporting physical development and learning in the early years, to navigating streets safely, preparing food, handling money, using technology and managing their appearance as they grow older. This training programme (also known as habilitation) will give your child invaluable practical skills for life. We also offer tailored courses for children with additional and complex needs: these include early motor skills, sensory development, body awareness and wheelchair mobility.
  • Guide dogs for children and young people. A guide dog could give your child the confidence to get out and about safely. Whether it’s to go to school or college, to a regular exercise class or to meet up with friends, they provide life-changing practical support every single day.
  • Buddy dogs. Our buddy dogs bring a canine friend into the lives of children with sight loss. By helping to build your child’s confidence in themselves and trust in their surroundings, these dogs have a positive effect on your whole family’s wellbeing.
We’re here for you, whenever you need us.  For more information visit our website: Guide Dogs

Client groups

Children, young people and families

Main address

Burghfield Common