Maxol announces partnership with Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind

Maxol announces partnership with Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind
Brian Donaldson of Maxol with guide dog users L-R Dawn Hopper with Micky & Christina Kelly with Effie

Maxol will leverage its national store network to support visually impaired people and the families of children with autism

€53k to breed, train and care for one guide dog

Maxol has announced the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind as its newly appointed charity partner.

In selecting the charity, CEO of the Maxol Group, Brian Donaldson explained that it wasn’t until he met and spoke to a guide dog owner that he fully appreciated the life-changing impact these highly trained and intuitive dogs can have, giving a person not only confidence but independence too.

Over the course of the two-year partnership, Maxol, Ireland’s leading family-owned forecourt and convenience retailer, aims to support the charity by increasing awareness and the impact of the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind’s work. The family-owned company has also committed to funding the training of at least six assistance dogs.

It costs approximately €53,000 to breed, train, and care for each of these special dogs over the course of their working lives.

Guide and Assistance Dogs, of which there are over 360 in Ireland but with a need for many more, play a vital role for those with visual impairment and for children with autism, transforming their day-to-day lives and enabling them to feel safe and take part more in their communities.

Compelling case

Brian Donaldson said: “With so many charities in need of urgent funding selecting just one to which we will commit our resources is hugely challenging. But when we looked not only at the work of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind but the positive and tangible impact the charity can have on so many people’s lives – children, adults, and their families – we saw a really compelling case. This is a national organisation but with a strong and widespread community presence, much like our own business, and together with our local retailers we are looking forward to getting behind their work and ensuring Maxol makes a difference.”

Maxol will leverage its all-Ireland retailer network of more than 240 Maxol service stations to raise much-needed funds to help transform a person’s life.


The saying ‘A dog is for life’ takes on a special meaning for those who require the assistance of a guide dog because, for them, the dog is their ‘enabler’, allowing them to live life to the full.

Tim O’Mahony, Chief Executive Officer of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind said: ”We are delighted to be chosen as Maxol’s charity partner. Their support will have a huge impact; ensuring that we can deliver more guide dogs and assistance dogs over the next two years – essentially bringing independence and mobility to the lives of our clients and many families. The partnership will have a life-changing impact across communities as we develop links with our nationwide volunteer branches and their local service stations.“

Many blind and visually impaired people experience isolation and fear, and doing things that most people take for granted such as going shopping, attending college or work, having a social life and travelling can present enormous challenges. The dogs trained by the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind offer a lifeline to people in these situations, allowing them to live their lives with a newfound sense of safety, mobility, and independence.

Autism support

For children with autism and their families, assistance dogs can be incredibly impactful. These dogs are trained specifically to work with children with autism, acting as a calming presence, helping with behaviour regulation, and improving social skills and confidence.


Every cent donated to funding a guide dog or assistance dog has the capacity to give someone the kind of life they might only dream of otherwise.

An all-Ireland partnership, Maxol and its retailers are planning for a host of exciting fundraising and retail initiatives. The company has committed to supporting Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and in Northern Ireland, Guide Dogs NI with direct funding that will ensure more people will be matched with trained dogs over the coming months and years.

Maxol’s six-year partnership with mental health charity, Aware, which concluded this year raised more than €600,000. and