Posted: Wed 13th Apr 2016

Guide Dogs Give Students A Helping Hand

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Apr 13th, 2016

First year Police Sciences student Megan Booth, from Merthyr, experiences what it’s like to be blind during the Guide Dogs visit to Glyntaff Campus ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

First year Police Science students at the University of South Wales (USW) have met some special guests as part of their course – guide dogs Pippa and Trinity. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Golden Retrievers visited USW’s Glyntaff campus in Pontypridd with Guide Dog Mobility Instructor (GDMI) Tony Harvey, and other members of the Guide Dogs team volunteers, to highlight the work the Guide Dogs charity does and to promote a range of volunteering opportunities the charity offers. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

They also helped to give practical demonstrations on some of the difficulties that blind and visually-impaired people face – with some of the students wearing specially modified ‘black out’ glasses while being guided along an ‘obstacle course’ by one of the dogs. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

First year student Megan Booth, 18, from Merthyr, was one of those who got involved. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“It’s very scary, as you have to put your full trust in the dogs,” she said. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“But I didn’t feel nervous. It was such an interesting thing to have that experience.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Police Science lecturer Geoff Coliandris added: “The visit from Guide Dogs is just one of the sessions we organise to give our students a wider understanding of the life of different people and groups out in the community. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We highlight the issues that many vulnerable people can face, and the police role and responsibility for things such as safeguarding, and what challenges various groups may have on a day-to-day basis. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We were delighted that the guide dogs team were able to come to the University to help our students develop their understanding of diversity and vulnerability issues. It also opened up some possibilities for our students in terms of future volunteering opportunities with Guide Dogs, which will further benefit the community.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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