Clean Up

Since i’m 19 today, i thought i’d give my journal a good old clean up. None of the public entries are effected, but the personal “Diary Entries” are gone. Gone, gone, gone!!!!!!!! I did this because it’s part of me wanting to make this year a really really good year and forget all the negative thoughts i’ve sometimes been having. So now i have a fresh funky new journal. I just did it cause i really want to let go of all those negative thoughts.

So it’s time to enjoy the positive new feelings of my journal!!!! And of course my Birthday!!!!

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Guide Dogs Launches Puppy Walking In Northern Ireland

Here’s another article i found about Guide dogs in northern ireland. It was on the
New Look Website!
which has much more info on it!!!!!!!! Enjoy the article!!!! I love hearing about guidedogs news that is local.

The streets of Northern Ireland will be busier by April 2010 as 30 new volunteer puppy walkers begin socialising guide dog puppies. An appeal for these puppy walkers was launched recently as part of Guide Dogs plans to expand its services for blind and partially sighted people in the country.

Northern Ireland TV stars Christine Bleakley and Alexandra Ford are supporting Guide Dogs appeal for people in Bangor and Belfast to become volunteer puppy walkers and help socialise guide dog puppies.

The new puppy walking scheme was launched at the charity’s recent family fun day at Stormont. Nearly 30 of these crucial puppy walking volunteers are needed to provide the full-time care and education of a puppy from six weeks of age until they are between 12 and 14 months old. After their puppy walking the puppies will be returned to the charity to begin their formal guide dog training.

Puppy walkers prepare guide dog puppies for their working life ahead. They familiarise them with different environments including the home, towns and public transport. Guide Dogs supplies basic equipment and will cover all veterinary and feeding expenses.

Alison Sinclair, Guide Dogs Puppy Walking Manager for Northern Ireland explains: “We are delighted that Christine and Alexandra are supporting our appeal and urging people to come forward and volunteer for Guide Dogs. We are looking for enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers who can care for the puppies full-time for the first year of their life.

“Puppy walking is challenging and requires commitment and dedication but with training and support from Guide Dogs staff, our volunteers find puppy walking extremely rewarding and worthwhile.”

If you would like to request more information about becoming a puppy walker or other volunteering opportunities with the charity, please call Guide Dogs’ on 0845 371 7771 or email volunteer@guidedogs.org.uk You can also visit our puppy walking pages.

A young guide dog puppy is a full-time companion for their temporary owners, who find it rewarding to raise a dog who will one day give a blind person a new independence by acting as their eyes.

To become a puppy walker, volunteers will need to be home for the majority of the day and be able to take their puppy into many varied environments, have access to a car and a securely fenced yard or garden.

25 years after Guide Dogs began services in Northern Ireland it is introducing the puppy walking scheme and will work with health services in Northern Ireland, as well as other charities, supporting blind and partially sighted people.

This will involve introducing a volunteer assisted mobility service (sighted-guiding), and an extended rehabilitation service for people with sight loss.


GCSE Results

Today, I got the results of my
GCSE Maths
and
English

I got a C in English and a D in Maths!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At least now i have a maths GCSE to my name!!!!!!!!!!!! Before though, i only had an entry level qualification in maths, which is as useful as me getting a car lol!!!!

I can’t wait to start the
ECDL
Course.


Short Handle Work

Today I was doing some short handle work as part of
The Guidedog
Preparations
.
The Short handle, for anyone who doesn’t know, is a handle that the person holds onto, while the instructor holds the other end. It isn’t really like a normal guidedog harness, instead it is just like the handle of the harness. It is to simulate a dogs’ movements.

I started at about 3 o’clock. There was another mobility worker observing, plus a Guidedog mobility assistant, who I met
Back In November
And a person from Technecal support, who was from Scotland. She basically makes sure that all the rehabilitation workers and such are singing from the same hymn sheet, so to speak.

So anyway, we met at the local college, where we walked around the car park for a while, just to get me used to the feeling of the harness again. We also worked on foot posissions, and commands and such. I was actually quite shocked that i could remember the foot positions as well as i did!!! I just needed a little hint sometimes.

After this, we went through part of the route i have learned from the college back to my house, with just the short handle. It was alot more straight forward with a dog than with a cane!!!!!! There is one street in particular that is quite cluttered, and i didn’t even notice the clutter with the short handle!!!!!!! The only thing i noticed was the way the dog will sometimes stop if there is alot of people coming down the street. You would then just give it the instructions to go forward again.

I learnt a new command which was the “Back” command. That would be if you forgot something, or something. It is similar to the “Left Behind” command, in that the dog goes across your body just like it would if it was doing a “Left Behind”.

I noticed a massive improvement in my confidence, and the Guidedog mobility assistant noticed especially how much i had improved. That was a good boost for my confidence. I think it also helped that i knew the route, so it was less nerve wracking. My gait was also fantastic which was really great!!!!!!!!!!!

The only thing that was wrong with today was that the tension wasn’t quite right in the harness. My mobility instructor has said though that the tension isn’t always quite right at the start, and that when Guidedogs do a matching visit, that then they will check to see if the tension is good.

It was a really good day!!! I’m glad i improved the confidence, and the voice commands. I am now starting to believe that the gait will correct itself in time too!!!!!

My mobility instructor is going to do alot more short handle work in the future with me, so that i am as prepared as possible for when i get the dog.

I must keep thinking positively.

I will keep a record of each time i use the short handle, so that i can let you all know what the latest is. Just pray that my confidence continues to grow!!!!!


I Know What I was So Worried About!

I had to do the
Recording
For the
Eye Matter
Magazine. I honestly don’t know what i was worried about!!!!

We got there at about 10 o’clock, and then once everyone had arrived we went over to the recording studio.

I was second last to go. I was quite shocked at how short the article was in braille!!!! It was only about 4 pages long!!! I volunteered to read another persons’ article, as they couldn’t make it today.

I just acted as if i was just reading. I made a few mistakes, but i hope they can be eddited out.

We finished at about half past 11, where we just chatted and then went for lunch.

After lunch we just kicked about on the internet for a while in the internet caffe.

It was during today that i got the sad news that
Eye Matter
will run out of funding in June 20010. It was only designed for a 3 year project, but it was still quite a shock. They are talking about how we would form our own counscil though afterwords. I will still miss the craic of Laura and all the gang though!!!! I’m just gonna enjoy all the events that are coming up with the Eye matter.

By the way, i also got to see The Pen Friend today. I can’t really be bothered looking for the link though lol.

Also, i might see if i can get the CD too, of the magazine, just cause i wanna hear myself, and plus it’ll mean i can put it up here maybe.


Communications Course

I was on a confidence course yesterday. It was run by the
RNIB
I would just like to say that the first week has really improved my confidence. It was good to just explore some of the issues.

It was also great that we were allowed to be totally independent, making our own tea and going to the restaurant, which was only up the street by ourselves. Really made me feel like an adult. Thanks for letting me have that independence. Hopefully next week will be as successful. Also hopefully all those negative thoughts will go away since today helped so much. By the way i’m not negative all the time by the way.


This Sounds So Interesting!

I was thinking the other day about how cool and interesting
Bee Keeping
Would be, but at the same time it sounds a bit scary. It was actually
The Archers
That has also wet my appitite. Who’d have thought that the Archers could be so educational!!!

So what are the odds of a blind person being a successful bee keeper? It sounds so interesting!!!! I’d love to give it a try!!!