Ballyclare bank employee backs Guide Dogs charity

Sharon Wylie (centre) with pups in training Donald and Duffy and fellow Guide Dogs NI volunteers Winsome and Alan. INNT 29-804CON
Sharon Wylie (centre) with pups in training Donald and Duffy and fellow Guide Dogs NI volunteers Winsome and Alan. INNT 29-804CON

A local charity has benefitted following a kind gesture from a bank employee from Ballyclare.

Guide Dogs NI received a boost after Danske Bank employee, Sharon Wylie, applied for a grant of £480 from the bank to aid the charity.

Sharon, who has worked for Danske Bank for 20 years, successfully applied for the award via the bank’s staff grants scheme.

Guide Dogs NI supports the 18,000 people who are registered blind or partially sighted in Northern Ireland by helping them to live a more independent life. From birth to retirement, a guide dog costs over £52,000.

Sharon, who is a volunteer with Guide Dogs NI and works as a personal assistant at Danske Bank, said: “The bank has been able to support three new guide dog owners by giving them a specially constructed starter pack. This contains the equipment they will need to train and work safely with their dog, including a guiding harness, handle, quick release strap and reflective strip with ‘Please don’t distract me, I’m working’, reminding members of the public not to interrupt a guide dog, as well as other pieces of kit.”

Amy Stinton, external relations coordinator at Danske Bank, commented: “Sharon has worked as a volunteer with Guide Dogs NI for six years and we are delighted to be able to recognise her efforts by giving this support.”

Danske Bank’s staff grants programme recognises the value of volunteering that employees undertake in their own personal time. Since its launch, the scheme has donated nearly £100,000 to different voluntary groups across Northern Ireland.