The British-built hybrid electric Auris was presented to Guide Dogs at a ceremony at the Surrey headquarters of Toyota (GB) and Toyota Financial Services on Monday (29 January).
Hundreds of employees across the two businesses have been taking part in a wealth of different activities to raise money for the charity. In less than a year their efforts and fund-matching have already brought in more than £120,000 – enough to cover the cost of 65 guide dog “mobility years”. The partnership will continue into 2019.
Activities have included a cross-Channel bike ride, a marathon walk and a hike by company directors along the length of Hadrian’s Wall. Staff have also enjoyed close insights into the work of Guide Dogs, meeting trainers, guide dogs and their owners to learn more about the freedom and independence the charity can help people living with sight loss enjoy.
Toyota will also be supporting four Guide Dog puppies. Three have been named Genchi, Poppy and Elsie in a vote by Toyota’s workforce and the fourth has been called Banjo, a name chosen through a Toyota social media campaign.
Kerry Hemmings, Deputy Head of High Value Partnerships at Guide Dogs, said: “Guide Dogs and Toyota are working together to ensure as many people with sight loss as possible have the same freedom of movement as everyone else. The commitment and dedication of staff to raise awareness and funds for our charity has been exceptional. Additionally, the donations they have raised will provide freedom, independence and mobility for people with sight loss and their families throughout the UK. Furthermore, the car donated by Toyota continues to travel throughout Great Britain on a journey to ensure mobility for all.”
Rob Giles, Toyota GB Director with responsibility for Corporate Social Responsibility, said: “Our partnership with Guide Dogs has proved inspirational for all of us at Toyota. Everyone here has responded with huge enthusiasm to support the charity by raising money and helping increase awareness of the breadth of work it does to help people with sight loss.
“Both Toyota and Guide Dogs recognise how important mobility is in helping people enjoy independent and fulfilling lives. This gives us a common cause in helping people gain and maintain the freedom mobility brings. We are delighted to add to our fund-raising efforts by providing Guide Dogs with a Toyota Auris for use in its day-to-day work.”