People who are blind or vision impaired in the region will now be able to receive support quicker and easier with a new Guide Dogs Bendigo office.
The office, which opened on Thursday, will include a vision shop where clients can buy assistive equipment like technology magnifiers and GPS devices.
"We've done quite a bit of research over the past 12 months," Guide Dogs Victoria guide dog and vision services general manager Alastair Stott said.
"It was clear to us that we needed a regional community office in Bendigo to provide more convenience for locals who are blind or have low vision."
Mr Stott said the office would also act as a community hub for people who were blind or vision impaired.
"It's a place for them to come together," he said.
"It will be a place where people can not only speak to practitioners but also catch up with each other.
"We've intentionally designed the office to be welcoming for those peer groups where people can share their experience."
Guide Dogs Victoria has 29 clients in Bendigo, with 13 of those people new referrals to the service.
There are 11 guide dog users in the city, but more than 3500 people in the region are blind or vision impaired.
Kathleen Spofforth, 31, has low vision after a blood clot crushed her optic nerve 13 years ago.
"I was transferred from the Royal Melbourne Hospital to Guide Dogs Victoria when I was 18 years old," Ms Spofforth said.
"They taught me how to use my cane.
"But two years ago, I got back in touch with them because I needed assistance and we started the process of getting a guide dog.
"I then got matched with Evie and I've been with her for about a year."
Usually clients would receive support from Guide Dogs Victoria staff in the Melbourne office or through a roaming service.
But Ms Spofforth said the new space would make life easier.
"We'll be able to go into the office and speak to the staff right there and then, rather than having to book an appointment," she said.
"We can ask for that assistance on the spot."
The City of Greater Bendigo provided funding for the new office as part of a community grant.
"We are pleased to welcome Guide Dogs Victoria to Bendigo and we hope the team will feel at home here," mayor Margaret O'Rourke said.
"The city has been pleased to assist Guide Dogs Victoria by providing a grant to help improve outcomes for those living with low or no vision.
"We look forward to a range of initiatives being delivered that are tailored to their needs and help our residents to feel supported."
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.