Guide Dogs opens new eye health and service centre in Western Sydney
Named in honour of major Guide Dogs benefactor Doug Cameron, the centre will address growing demand for health services in the region, offering a three-phased approach to eye health that will proactively support people through every stage of their eye health journey. This will include:
- Prevention and early detection services through the Centre for Eye Health;
- Services for people with low vision or blindness, that Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is best known for – including Orientation and Mobility, Guide Dogs, assistive technology and more;
- Services that connect Clients to each other through peer support, or to their community.
Dale Cleaver, CEO of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT CEO said many people do not realise that the vital work of the organisation extends beyond, and involves more than just dogs.
“Guide Dogs NSW/ACT has been proactively working to reduce the incidence of preventable blindness since 2009 when we originally established the Centre For Eye Health, in a joint initiative with the University of NSW,” Mr Cleaver said.
“In the last 10 years, the centre has serviced over 65,000 appointments with more than 34,300 people receiving community-based care, preventing unnecessarily referral to hospital-based ophthalmology services and alleviating pressure on an overburdened public health system.
“Now, by establishing a second Centre for Eye Health location at our new Cameron Centre in Parramata, and having it sit under the same roof as our other services, we can support every stage of the eye health journey for the Western Sydney community. By offering more services, we can assit more people” Mr Cleaver said.
Jatin Dhanji is one of over 600 Clients who have benefited from Guide Dogs NSW/ACT’s services in Western Sydney in the past two yearsyears:
“I am very excited about the new Cameron Centre and how it will improve Client experience and help strengthen the Guide Dogs community in Western Sydney,” said Mr Dhanji.
“I know first-hand the positive impact Guide Dogs’ services make to a person with low vision or blindness. I’m a lot more confident in not only how I move about my community, but in life in general. I’m excited that the Centre will have all of Guide Dogs offerings under one roof, as it makes the services linear and easier to navigate in all senses. In particular I’m thrilled about the new connection services. It’s so important to foster a sense of community and to me that’s a very unique quality that Guide Dogs offers.”
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT relies hevily on the support of the community to fund its services, with 80% of services funded by generous community donations.
To find out more about the Cameron Centre, or for any enquiries, please call 02 8630 4911.