#IVolunteerBecause: Stacey Lyons from Keele University
Posted on 24 Feb 2016
Loads of you have been sharing your #IVolunteerBecause with us on social media, and today we're hearing more from Stacey, a student at Keele University, about her experience volunteering with Guide Dogs.
Stacey Lyons says she loves volunteering for Guide Dogs because the charity is all about focusing on what people with sight loss can do, rather than what they can’t.
Stacey, who’s president of Keele University’s Guide Dogs Society, said: “I’ve made so many friends and met so many people. Getting involved has given me organisation skills and confidence – I really wasn’t confident speaking to people before. I know that these are skills I’ll use after I graduate.”
Stacey, who’s originally from Scarborough, said: “Our society is quite relaxed and social, and we try to do something at least once a month, often fundraising events. We’ve done a puppy room – where Guide Dogs bring in some guide dog puppies in training to meet students as a stress buster before exams. We had about 300 people turn up for that!
“But what’s great is that we get to do things with lots of other societies. The baking society have made cakes for us to sell, and we recently helped our mental health society, Student Minds, with a Valentine’s Day event for single people. The possibilities are endless!”
The 23-year-old knows better than most just how positive and life-changing the charity Guide Dogs can be. That’s because Stacey, who’s studying for a psychology and educational studies degree, is one of the two million people living with sight loss in the UK today. Stacey was partnered with a black labrador/retriever cross guide dog called Summer in December 2015. Stacey said: “I feel like getting a guide dog has taken the pressure off me, it’s so much easier to move about. People will come and talk to me now!” Stacey knows that her work is especially valued by the charity, because the guide dog service gets no government funding.
Every hour, another person in the UK goes blind. It’s volunteers like Stacey who help the charity Guide Dogs to be there so that when someone loses their sight, they don’t lose their freedom as well.
Click here to find out more about supporting Guide Dogs.