Guide Dogs Birmingham Mobility Team were delighted 11th November when at Guide Dogs National People Awards Mohammed Rashid from Sparkhill was awarded overall volunteer of the year 2016 after winning his category (inclusive and embracing).
Mohammed faced and overcame many challenges over 3 years to become a Guide Dog Owner. As a Muslim living in inner city Birmingham family, friends and the community had reservations over him having a guide dog and he had to face his fear of dogs too. Now he is an ambassador for Guide Dogs in a community that previously had little or no awareness of guide dogs work. He volunteers as a fundraiser, a campaigner, and gets involved at community events. He has just recently done his speaker training as he wants to talk to schools and groups within his community. All of this because he is determined that anyone who would benefit from a Guide Dog is given the opportunity to have one. For example at an event in Handsworth over 230 people attended many of the children were afraid of dogs, through Mohammed’s patience, caring and inclusive approach many were able to at least touch his Guide Dog Solo before they left and some simply didn’t want to leave!
After receiving his award Mohammed said “The award to me means a sense of appreciation for the work that I have done for Guide Dogs. It also makes me want to do more as I the award shows how much I am appreciated. I believe that this is a little I can give back to guide dogs for what they have done for me which has given me a new lease of life and changed me and my level of independence forever.”
If you are interested in finding out more about guide dog services or volunteering opportunities then please contact the Birmingham Mobility Team on 0345 143 0194 or email Birmingham@guidedogs.org.uk