Letter: No inquiry into blind charity

YOUR article 'Inquiry into guide dog charity's spare pounds 160m' (16 October) is inaccurate.

1 There is no 'inquiry'; the Charity Commission has clearly stated that it is carrying on a regular dialogue with 160 of the larger charities, of which we are one.

2 Our reserves are not 'spare' but exist to safeguard our long-term commitment to provide replacement guide dogs.

3 The 'cinema advertising campaign' is to promote our services, not to raise money.

4 We are not aware of any 'anger' from other charities. We continually support other organisations for and of blind people and, for example, recently spent pounds 500,000 on braille machinery for use by the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

5 Although our constitution permits us to provide a wide range of services for blind people, our prime purpose is our guide dog work. People do not give us money simply so that we can pass it on to other charities which have different aims or less appeal. Nor is it part of our remit to subsidise services that public authorities have a legal obligation to provide.

Nevertheless we are already the largest trainers of rehabilitation workers for blind people in the UK and the largest charitable grant provider for ophthalmic research into the causes and prevention of blindness.

J C Oxley Director General The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association Reading, Berkshire

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