John Martin is managing director of ABN AMRO Bank, London. He is also chairman of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in the City.
Why did you get involved?
I became involved with Guide Dogs when I realised that the association received no funding from the Government or the National Lottery, but relies wholly on donations and legacies from the public.
What have you achieved?
Many people do not know that it costs £35,000 to breed and fully train a guide dog. Guide dog owners require up to seven dogs during their lives; and a guide dog has a working life of just seven years. The City of London Branch organises various fundraising events and also promotes awareness of Guide Dogs with City institutions, this in turn helps us raise funds to meet the growing demand for guide dogs.
Does the support of the city bring benefits to the community?
I make the plea that the work of Guide Dogs has a special relevance to the employment feasibility of men and women. By helping us in our fundraising work, companies can empower a group of valuable potential employees to play their part in the City's business life.
How can the city help?
City institutions can assist Guide Dogs in many ways including the provision of corporate donations, underwriting specific fundraising events and participating in employee contribution schemes. There are also excellent challenge events from cycling across New Zealand to team events in the UK.