Guide Dog Foundation

Specsavers Ópticas today launches a national fundraising campaign in aid of ONCE Foundation for Guide Dogs (FOPG), to help support vulnerable people with severe vision loss.

Naming ONCE as its official charity, the opticians has pledged to raise more than 5,000€ over the next year, to support the important work of the FOPG and the services it provides. The foundation runs the only centre which breeds and trains guide dogs for blind people, or those with serious vision loss, to help them gain better mobility and more independence.

The work of this foundation is essential to increase the autonomy of blind people or those with a serious visual disability. Changing from walking with a cane to doing it with a guide dog represents a huge improvement in their mobility, speed and security of their movements and allows them to integrate with society in a much more meaningful way. The FOPG is a permanent member of the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF), the European Guide Dog Federation (EGDF) and the European Breeding Network, a working group specialised in breeding and genetic improvement of guide dogs in Europe and the USA.

Jorge Martínez de Lizarduy Araico, of Specsavers Opticas, says: ‘As an opticians, we’re passionate about improving the lives of people with sight loss, so we’ll be doing all we can throughout the year to raise funds for the foundation.
‘Vision loss can be incredibly isolating, leading to feelings of loneliness and depression. However, thanks to the foundation and the work they do, people can gain a new sense of independence and confidence. ‘It’s equally important that people take a proactive approach to their eye health. Regular eye tests and early detection, followed by timely intervention and management of eye health conditions, could help save your sight.’

Fundación ONCE del Perro Guía (FOPG) is a welfare foundation created by ONCE in 1990 with the purpose of breeding and training guide dogs for people with severe blindness or visual impairment. It provides its services to people with visual disabilities throughout Spain, by virtue of the collaboration with ONCE itself, which offers the guide dog as a free social service for people affiliated with that organisation who request it and are eligible.

The foundation breeds its own dogs and takes responsibility for the entire process of training the guide dog and pairing it with the most suitable applicant. They also train the new owner how to make best use of this mobility aid and supports both the owner and the dog throughout its life as a guide dog.

Specsavers Ópticas is an opticians with stores on the Costa Blanca (Calpe, Jávea, Torrevieja, Benidorm, Guardamar del Segura and La Zenia), on the Costa del Sol (Fuengirola and Marbella) and in Mallorca (Santa Ponça). It is committed to helping those with eye health problems to improve their quality of life. To support this goal, they hold regular charitable campaigns such as this and offer complete visual health assessments as part of their eye tests, free of charge. They believe an eye test should also be a health check, as it can help the optometrists to identify changes in the eye which can be associated with certain treatable eye conditions. Where necessary the optometrist will refer their customers to the correct medical professional to carry out further tests and diagnose conditions before it effects their sight.

This is not the first time that Specsavers Ópticas has supported ONCE. In 2017, the stores raised thousands in aid of the ONCE Foundation for the Care of Persons with Deafblindness (FOAPS)

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