Guide Dogs charity is looking for homes for dogs with a difference
South Tyneside businesses are being urged to take the lead by giving a home to a dog with a difference to boost a charity's coffers.
They are being asked to volunteer to have a life-size dog collecting box put on their premises to raise vital funds for Guide Dogs.
The organisation says the boxes collect an average of £500 a year – making them important to the success of its operations.
Bosses have identified the best places for them as being near check-outs and business foyers – and children.
About 5,000 people in South Tyneside live with sight loss, many of whom are supported by Guide Dogs.
Pippa Turner, Guide Dogs’ North East of England community fundraiser, said: “There are around 265 guide dog owners in the North East, including South Tyneside, and Cumbria.
“Each guide dog partnership costs just under £57,000, so we rely on donations to continue our life changing work.
“Every pound raised makes a difference, so by having a life-size dog on your premises, where members of the public and customers can make a donation, you’ll be making a huge contribution to someone with sight loss.”
She added: “The life-size replicas can collect as much as £500 per year for our charity, which makes a massive difference to someone who is blind or partially-sighted.
“It couldn’t be simpler. We’ll deliver the collection box and later, when you let us know it’s full, we’ll come and empty it, too.
“They are emptied and cleaned regularly by Guide Dogs’ volunteers, and they require no exercise, nor do they make any mess.”
Guide Dogs relies on donations from the public to keep its services running.
In 2016, less than 1% of its income came from government funding.
It is also currently looking for volunteers to work as fundraisers for its new South Tyneside supporter group.
The supporter group will back up the activities of the existing Sunderland and South Shields branch.
The group will meet throughout the year and carry out fundraising activities about every three weeks. However, volunteers will not be expected to attend every event.
As well as fundraisers, volunteers are needed to fill roles such as treasurer or merchandise seller.
Further information is available by calling 0345 1430220 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.