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LAUNCH:​ ​First​ ​Blind​ ​Dates - Did​ ​Sparks​ ​Fly​ ​or​ ​Does​ ​Cupid​ ​Need​ ​to​ ​Work​ ​on​ ​His​ ​Archery​ ​Skills?

  • Synopsis: Published: 2017-09-07 (Rev. 2017-09-08) - Guide​ ​dog​ ​owners​ ​date​ ​strangers​ ​and reveal​ ​challenges​ ​of​ ​living​ ​with​ ​sight​ ​loss​ ​and​ ​the​ difference​ ​​guide​ ​dog​s ​have​ ​made to​ ​their​ ​lives. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Guide​ ​Dogs​ ​Association​ ​for​ ​the​ ​Blind.

Main Document

"The​ ​First Blind​ ​Dates​ ​concept​ ​creates​ ​an​ ​authentic​ ​platform​ ​for​ ​our​ ​four​ ​guide​ ​dog​ ​owners​ ​to​ ​share their​ ​stories​ ​of​ ​living​ ​with​ ​sight​ ​loss​ ​and​ ​guide​ ​dog​ ​ownership​ ​with​ ​complete​ ​strangers."

One​ ​date​ ​could​ ​change​ ​your​ ​life​ ​forever​ ​but​ ​in​ ​Guide​ ​Dog's​ ​latest​ ​video​ ​with​ ​Don't​ ​Panic,​ ​we show​ ​that​ ​one​ ​dog​ ​can​ ​make​ ​all​ ​the​ ​difference.

Four​ ​guide​ ​dog​ ​owners​ ​meet​ ​strangers​ ​for​ ​the​ ​first​ ​time​ ​to​ ​tell​ ​their​ ​real-life​ ​stories,​ ​they reveal​ ​the​ ​challenges​ ​of​ ​living​ ​with​ ​sight​ ​loss​ ​and​ ​the​ ​huge​ ​difference​ ​a​ ​guide​ ​dog​ ​has​ ​made to​ ​their​ ​lives.​ ​But​ ​as​ ​ever,​ ​the​ ​challenges​ ​of​ ​dating​ ​make​ ​for​ ​some​ ​awkward​ ​moments​ ​that even​ ​the​ ​most​ ​intuitive​ ​dog​ ​couldn't​ ​guide​ ​you​ ​through.

Guide​ ​Dog​ ​owner​ ​and​ ​adventure-junkie​ ​Cheryl​ ​Bradshaw​​ ​is​ ​33​ ​from​ ​Glasgow​ ​who​ ​has​ ​been blind​ ​since​ ​birth.​ ​Her​ ​date,​ ​Mark​ ​Williams​,​ ​is​ ​31​ ​from​ ​Liverpool.
Guide​ ​Dog​ ​owner​ ​and​ ​adventure-junkie​ ​Cheryl​ ​Bradshaw​​ ​is​ ​33​ ​from​ ​Glasgow​ ​who​ ​has​ ​been blind​ ​since​ ​birth.​ ​Her​ ​date,​ ​Mark​ ​Williams​,​ ​is​ ​31​ ​from​ ​Liverpool.

Almost​ ​two​ ​million​ ​people​ ​in​ ​the​ ​UK​ ​today​ ​are​ ​living​ ​with​ ​sight​ ​loss​ ​that​ ​has​ ​a​ ​significant impact​ ​on​ ​their​ ​daily​ ​lives.​ ​Of​ ​those,​ ​around​ ​180,000​ ​rarely​ ​leave​ ​their​ ​homes​ ​alone​ ​and​ ​can lead​ ​lonely,​ ​isolated​ ​lives.

Thrill​ ​seeker​ ​and​ ​Guide​ ​Dog​ ​owner​ ​Nicki​ ​Cockburn​​ ​is​ ​aged​ ​39,​ ​from​ ​Cardiff.​ ​She​ ​met​ ​Harji Dillion​,​ ​a​ ​44-year-old​ ​RnB​ ​music​ ​fan.
Thrill​ ​seeker​ ​and​ ​Guide​ ​Dog​ ​owner​ ​Nicki​ ​Cockburn​​ ​is​ ​aged​ ​39,​ ​from​ ​Cardiff.​ ​She​ ​met​ ​Harji Dillion​,​ ​a​ ​44-year-old​ ​RnB​ ​music​ ​fan.

The​ ​video​ ​launches​ ​the​ ​annual​ ​Guide​ ​Dogs​ ​Week​ ​running​ ​from​ ​7th​ ​to​ ​15th​ ​October​ ​and​ ​has been​ ​created​ ​to​ ​inspire​ ​people​ ​all​ ​over​ ​the​ ​UK​ ​to​ ​#Moveit​ ​for​ ​Money​ ​and​ ​do​ ​something​ ​they love​ ​to​ ​raise​ ​vital​ ​funds​ ​for​ ​Guide​ ​Dogs.​ ​More​ ​people​ ​than​ ​ever​ ​need​ ​a​ ​guide​ ​dog​ ​and​ ​the money​ ​raised​ ​will​ ​help​ ​the​ ​charity​ ​ensure​ ​that​ ​people​ ​with​ ​sight​ ​loss​ ​don't​ ​lose​ ​out​ ​on​ ​life.

Sociable​ ​Guide​ ​Dog​ ​owner​ ​Laura​ ​Bradley​​ ​is​ ​aged​ ​33​ ​from​ ​Scotland,​ ​and​ ​met​ ​marathon​ ​loving Zeeshan​ ​Shamsi​,​ ​who​ ​is​ ​aged​ ​32.
Sociable​ ​Guide​ ​Dog​ ​owner​ ​Laura​ ​Bradley​​ ​is​ ​aged​ ​33​ ​from​ ​Scotland,​ ​and​ ​met​ ​marathon​ ​loving Zeeshan​ ​Shamsi​,​ ​who​ ​is​ ​aged​ ​32.

Commenting​ ​on​ ​the​ ​video,​ ​Peter​ ​Emmett,​ ​Head​ ​of​ ​Community​ ​Fundraising​ ​said,​ ​"The​ ​First Blind​ ​Dates​ ​concept​ ​creates​ ​an​ ​authentic​ ​platform​ ​for​ ​our​ ​four​ ​guide​ ​dog​ ​owners​ ​to​ ​share their​ ​stories​ ​of​ ​living​ ​with​ ​sight​ ​loss​ ​and​ ​guide​ ​dog​ ​ownership​ ​with​ ​complete​ ​strangers.​ ​We're confident​ ​that​ ​it​ ​will​ ​inspire​ ​people​ ​all​ ​over​ ​the​ ​UK​ ​to​ ​Move​ ​it​ ​for​ ​Money​ ​and​ ​raise​ ​vital​ ​funds during​ ​Guide​ ​Dogs​ ​Week."

Music​ ​fan​ ​and​ ​Guide​ ​Dog​ ​owner​ ​Paul​ ​Johnson​,​ ​aged​ ​46​ ​lost​ ​his​ ​sight​ ​at​ ​nine​ ​years​ ​old.​ ​He met​ ​travel​ ​enthusiast​ ​Lorraine​ ​Rogers​​ ​aged​ ​50.
Music​ ​fan​ ​and​ ​Guide​ ​Dog​ ​owner​ ​Paul​ ​Johnson​,​ ​aged​ ​46​ ​lost​ ​his​ ​sight​ ​at​ ​nine​ ​years​ ​old.​ ​He met​ ​travel​ ​enthusiast​ ​Lorraine​ ​Rogers​​ ​aged​ ​50.

And​ ​Joe​ ​Wade,​ ​Co-Founder​ ​and​ ​Managing​ ​Director​ ​at​ ​Don't​ ​Panic,​ ​"We​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​create​ ​a film​ ​that​ ​told​ ​real​ ​people's​ ​stories​ ​in​ ​an​ ​inherently​ ​engaging​ ​and​ ​compelling​ ​way.​ ​By​ ​adopting the​ ​familiar​ ​dating​ ​show​ ​set​ ​up,​ ​we​ ​were​ ​able​ ​to​ ​create​ ​an​ ​authentic​ ​environment​ ​for​ ​people to​ ​open​ ​up​ ​and​ ​tell​ ​their​ ​stories​ ​first​ ​hand.​ ​These​ ​stories​ ​are​ ​honest​ ​and​ ​empowering, highlighting​ ​the​ ​positive​ ​impact​ ​Guide​ ​Dogs​ ​can​ ​bring​ ​to​ ​people's​ ​lives."

Video Clip: First Blind Dates

In this video clip four guide dog owners go on a First Blind Date.

Guide​ ​Dogs​ ​Association​ ​for​ ​the​ ​Blind:

Every​ ​hour,​ ​another​ ​person​ ​in​ ​the​ ​UK​ ​loses​ ​their​ ​sight​ ​and​ ​if​ ​this​ ​happens​ ​to​ ​you,​ ​Guide​ ​Dogs​ ​is​ ​there​ ​to make​ ​sure​ ​you​ ​don't​ ​lose​ ​your​ ​freedom​ ​as​ ​well.

We​ ​want​ ​everyone​ ​who​ ​experiences​ ​sight​ ​loss​ ​to​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​live​ ​their​ ​lives​ ​the​ ​way​ ​they​ ​choose​ ​and feel​ ​confident,​ ​independent​ ​and​ ​supported​ ​in​ ​the​ ​world.​ ​We're​ ​a​ ​UK-wide​ ​charity,​ ​founded​ ​in​ ​1934,​ ​and we're​ ​specialists​ ​in​ ​giving​ ​people​ ​who​ ​are​ ​blind​ ​or​ ​partially​ ​sighted​ ​the​ ​means​ ​to​ ​live​ ​life​ ​on​ ​their​ ​own terms​ ​and​ ​to​ ​step​ ​out​ ​into​ ​the​ ​world​ ​again.​ ​Find​ ​out​ ​more​ ​at​ ​www.guidedogs.org.uk

We​ ​rely​ ​on​ ​donations​ ​to​ ​continue​ ​our​ ​life-changing​ ​work​ ​--​ ​every​ ​pound​ ​raised​ ​makes​ ​a​ ​difference​ ​to people​ ​in​ ​the​ ​UK​ ​living​ ​with​ ​sight​ ​loss.​ ​There​ ​are​ ​almost​ ​two​ ​million​ ​people​ ​in​ ​the​ ​UK​ ​living​ ​with​ ​sight loss​ ​today,​ ​a​ ​number​ ​which​ ​is​ ​predicted​ ​to​ ​double​ ​to​ ​four​ ​million​ ​by​ ​2050,​ ​so​ ​we​ ​need​ ​your​ ​support​ ​to reach​ ​as​ ​many​ ​people​ ​who​ ​are​ ​blind​ ​or​ ​partially​ ​sighted​ ​as​ ​possible.

Don't​ ​Panic:

We​ ​are​ ​Don't​ ​Panic,​ ​a​ ​creative+​ ​agency.​ ​We're​ ​the​ ​most-awarded​ ​agency​ ​in​ ​the​ ​content​ ​space.​ ​We specialise​ ​in​ ​creating​ ​shareable,​ ​contagious​ ​campaigns​ ​using​ ​a​ ​mix​ ​of​ ​informed​ ​digital​ ​planning​ ​and brilliant​ ​ideas.​ ​We​ ​use​ ​it​ ​to​ ​build​ ​brands,​ ​disrupt​ ​convention​ ​and​ ​ensure​ ​action.​ ​We​ ​deliver​ ​our messages​ ​with​ ​humour,​ ​intelligence​ ​and​ ​integrity​ ​to​ ​inspire​ ​people​ ​to​ ​think​ ​in​ ​unfamiliar​ ​ways​ ​and​ ​do something​ ​about​ ​it.

Credits:

MD:​ ​Joe​ ​Wade
Project​ ​Lead:​ ​Thyme​ ​Mor
Project​ ​Assist:​ ​Jane​ ​Marshall,​ ​Nisha​ ​Mullea​ ​&​ ​Helen​ ​Jackson
Strategy:​ ​Ellie​ ​Moore
Creative:​ ​Alistair​ ​Griggs
Director:​ ​Jack​ ​Newman
Exec​ ​Producer:​ ​Flo​ ​Clive
Producer:​ ​Hannah​ ​Gracie​ ​/​ ​Jon​ ​Mealing
DOP:​ ​Ness​ ​Whyte
Editor:​ ​Charlie​ ​Bird
Grade:​ ​Ben​ ​Marshall
Sound​ ​Mix:​ ​Peter​ ​Doggart



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  1. Service and Therapy Animals for People with Disability - Service and therapy animals are animals that are individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities.
  2. Guide Dog Etiquette - Pennsylvania Association for the Blind encourages these guidelines when encountering guide dogs - Pennsylvania Association for the Blind
  3. Guide Dog Facts - How guides dogs work and what we should be aware of when meeting one in its working environment - Robin Kettle

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