Guide Dogs Australia has today been announced as Australia’s Most Trusted Charity Brand, maintaining their exclusive hold on the title for a sixth consecutive year. The organisation received this honour as part of the annual Reader’s Digest’s Trusted Brands survey, which added the charity category in 2013.

Guide Dogs Australia spokesperson Michael Kightley said the achievement highlighted the importance of trust now more than ever between the public and brands, especially for those acting in the not-for-profit sector.

“At a time where many areas of society are being questioned for their transparency, it’s a reminder of the value of trust and reliability, especially in our industry. To be named Most Trusted Charity for the sixth year in a row is a testament to the integrity of the work our team has done for the community on a consistent basis,” said Mr Kightley.

“While there are no magic bullets to establishing trust, there are three fundamentals we as an organisation believe are vital: authenticity, consistency and transparency. Trust is at the heart of everything we do, especially between a person with blindness or low vision and their Guide Dog.

“This trust extends to the community, who love to see our iconic Guide Dogs out and about with their Handler. We frequently hear from locals who have spotted a working dog – it’s a rare opportunity for people to see a cause they support in action,” he said.

Trust between a Handler and their Guide Dog couldn’t be more of a reality than for Guide Dogs Australia’s client Dorothy Docherty.

Dorothy lost her vision suddenly at age 49. She went to bed one night with a severe headache, not realising she had a dangerous condition that caused inflammation in her brain. She was left with an Acquired Brain Injury that affected her whole body. Walking, talking – and of course, getting around without vision – all had to be learned from scratch.

Now in her 60s, Dorothy says, “Before I met my first Guide Dog, I didn’t have the courage to leave the house. I wholeheartedly trust that Anya can guide me safely from A to B – there was a time where I gave her the command to move forward to cross a busy intersection – the crossing ‘beeps’ told me it was safe but Anya refused the command and physically blocked my path. I am incredibly thankful she didn’t obey me, because a large truck ran the red light. I wouldn’t be here today without her.

There are over 450,000 people in Australia with low vision or blindness, and the number of individuals requiring Guide Dogs are set to double by the year 2020. To support the ever-increasing need for Guide Dogs, click here.

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