Sign In

Guide Dogs Partnership

September 24, 2020

Countryfile star Adam Henson took time out of a busy day on his farm to meet buddy dog owner Evie Gormley in a new heart-warming video from charity Guide Dogs.

Sixteen-year-old Evie, from Aberdare in Mid-Glamorgan and her buddy dog, Uma, met Adam at his Cotswold Farm Park near Cheltenham to chat about sight loss and their shared love for animals.

Buddy dog Uma is a partner and friend to Evie, helping her to overcome barriers around her vision impairment. This is something that Adam has a very personal connection with, having lost his nephew Ben, who had sight loss, to cancer at a young age.

Adam said: “When my late nephew Ben lost his sight at five years old, it brought home to me the challenges facing families with a visually-impaired child. Animals had a wonderfully calming and therapeutic influence on him, dogs in particular, so I fully understand the incredible impact that Uma has had on Evie.

“It was delightful to meet them both. She’s a wonderful person and listening to her explain how Uma has given her back her confidence was inspiring.”

Evie, who has Ramos-Arroyo Syndrome, a condition which affects both her eyesight and hearing, first applied to Guide Dogs’ Buddy Dog scheme in 2016, when she was 12. She was soon matched with Uma, a black Labrador x Retriever cross.

From that moment, Uma hasn’t left the side of the aspiring young judo star, giving her the confidence to make friends and train for her goal of joining the Paralympic judo team.

Evie explained: “Before I had Uma, I didn’t talk or play much, and I didn’t have many friends. Now I have her, people come up to me to say hello and I’ve made a lot more friends.

“She also loves helping me with my training, sitting with me while I do push ups and running alongside me when we’re in the park. She’s amazing!”

Buddy Dogs is a service designed to specifically help children and young people with sight loss, by providing them with a friendly dog.

Project Manager for the Buddy Dogs service at Guide Dogs, Verity De Winton, said: “Buddy dogs are wonderful for children and young people with sight loss. They are not guide dogs, but they help to develop self-confidence, improve relationships and have a hugely positive effect on the child and family’s well-being”.

Evie added: “I don’t see myself as having a ‘condition’, I just have to do things differently to achieve my goals. Uma is always with me and has helped me so much with my confidence. I’m starting college in September and she’s helped me realise that one day, I will definitely be applying for a guide dog.”

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more

    The Right Rescue Dog

    If your New Year’s resolution is to add a canine family member, good for you. Somewhere out there is the perfect puppy or adult dog for your family. You have a lot of things to think about when you begin to look for that new family member, puppy or dog? Large or small? Purebred or […]

    Read more