When Daniel Bateman’s wife lost her sight, he was determined to do all he could to ensure she lived life to the full.
And by helping Lauren regain her independence with the support of the Guide Dogs charity, Daniel discovered a passion for helping others.
The 28-year-old told how his wife was born with water on the brain, which damaged her retina.
When she developed a cataract aged 23, it served only to agitate the issue and after 17 operations on her eyes, she lost her sight completely.
Daniel, 28, said: “When Lauren lost her sight she lost everything – friends, her job and her sense of purpose.
“But Guide Dogs helped her piece her life back together.
“It started with white cane training, so Lauren could find ways to leave the house on her own.
“They also taught me how to guide her safely and Lauren then took the step to apply for a guide dog. When she was matched with Grace, it changed everything.
“She regained genuine independence with the added benefit of companionship.”
Daniel, who works for Transport for London, said: “With Lauren needing me less and less, I found I wanted to give something back and help others.
“I work full-time but started helping our local Guide Dogs fundraising branch as a treasurer.
“I then saw an advert from the Guide Dogs London Team asking for volunteer trainers.”
Daniel, of Enfield, North London, now volunteers as part of a service called MyGuide, teaching others how to safely lead people with sight loss.
He said: “I’d never taught in a classroom before but now it feels natural to stand up at the front, cracking jokes and making people smile.
“My confidence is really growing with the role. I absolutely love it.”
- To find out more about the volunteering opportunities available, visit guidedogs.org.uk.