Laura Bradley-2

VIDEO: First Bus Firsts: Guide dog provides new leash of life for Glasgow owner

Sometimes a single journey can mean so much more. Following the loss of her sight, Laura Bradley from Blantyre welcomed guide dog Autumn into her life and everything changed.

This International Guide Dog Day (24th April), First Bus is shining a spotlight on Laura’s journey back to bus as it celebrates the experiences of the thousands of people it keeps moving every day across Scotland. The stories of those who use the bus, and the impact it’s had on their lives, are captured in a content series called ‘First Bus Firsts’.

First Bus is sharing the story of Laura, whose guide dog Autumn became a beacon of safety and exploration, helping her overcome severe anxiety and depression triggered by her sight loss, while also assisting her in regaining her independence. Together they travel on bus services, even making friends along the way.

“Taking the bus was something I wouldn’t have to think twice about before but, when I lost my sight, this simple act presented so many obstacles and filled me with fear and anxiety,” explains Laura.

“I feel like I’m back in control of my life again with Autumn. She’s brought me mobility, and newfound independence as, with her, I can regularly use the bus to get to where I want and need to be.

“Autumn is phenomenal – the best guide dog there has ever been. Every morning, she leads me to the bus stop and indicates when a bus is approaching and lets me know when it’s arrived by standing up and shaking,” adds Laura.

Once on the bus, Autumn finds Laura a seat and then settles at her feet, remaining calm throughout the journey. Their partnership has drastically reduced Laura’s anxiety and has opened doors to social interactions and opportunities that were previously daunting.

Laura Bradley and Autumn

“She’s had such a profound impact on my life, allowing me to travel safely with her support. I can’t imagine my life without Autumn now. She really is my guardian angel with a wagging tail,” says Laura.

With Autumn’s incredible work ethic and alert personality, Autumn assists Laura daily ensuring she navigates her commute safely and independently.

Laura and Autumn have even sparked new friendships on their journeys. One in particular with Colin - an elderly gentleman they met on the bus, who they now often sit and chat with on their commute.

Laura said, “The bus gives me access to anywhere I want to go, and Autumn gives me the confidence to actually go out and get on a bus.”

In 2016, inspired by the positive changes Autumn had introduced to her life, Laura decided to give back to the community that supported her. She began volunteering for Guide Dogs charity, and by 2017 transitioned into a business support role in the organisation.


Notes to editors

Notes to Editors

About First Bus

First Bus is one of the UK’s largest bus operators. Making journeys easier for our customers, we were the first national bus operator to accept contactless card payments across all of our services and our First Bus App is voted ‘best in class’ amongst UK bus operators. Our most recent investments are in new, state-of-the-art buses across our key networks.

We work proactively with our local authority partners, making a positive impact on air quality, tackling congestion and improving customer experience. We are focused on First Bus becoming a leader in the transition to a low-carbon future and are committed to operating a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035. We also operate the Aircoach network in Ireland.

First Bus is a division of FirstGroup.

First Bus is an equal opportunity employer

First Bus is an excellent place to work with opportunities for a rewarding career. 

We are committed to equality of opportunity, diversity and inclusion. We believe diverse experiences and attitudes help us better understand the needs of our customers.

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