We want to say a huge and heartfelt thanks to you all and wish you a very Merry Christmas. It may sound clichéd but it’s absolutely true, that without our volunteers we would not be able to provide so many life-changing hearing dogs to deaf recipients across the UK.
Here are just a few messages of thanks to celebrate the work of all our volunteers on behalf of the Charity:
Breeding Scheme Team
Written by Alex Stafford-Clark, Breeding Coordinator
Our brood bitch holders care for the bitch and her pups in the home until they can come into the centre at around eight weeks. Our next litter is due on Christmas Day and the brood holder (volunteer) Jane Dalton, has taken the inevitable intrusion, chaos and hard work in her stride in the run up to the big event. Gertie – her Labrador brood bitch – is likely to have around seven puppies and all of them will need looking after, socialising and help to learn the basics in their first eight weeks of life. This preparation is key to their future success as hearing dogs.
We'd like to say a huge thank you to our Breeding Scheme volunteers for giving our puppies the best start in life!
Photo: Jane Dalton and Gertie. Jane has been volunteering for us since March 2010 when she started puppy socialising Gertie. She has since taken her on as a brood bitch.
Written by Rob Panting, Media and Campaigns Manager
Without our hard-working volunteers, the Communications department would simply not be able to function to its full potential.
The Communications volunteers help on a number of levels. Tasks include overseeing the archiving of past Favour magazines, recording monthly press coverage as well as overseeing large mailouts on behalf of the Charity. We also have volunteer support directed towards enhancing the Charity's Access and Inclusion department.
On behalf of the entire Communications department, I would like to say a huge thank you to all of our volunteers and wish them a fantastic Christmas and a wonderful 2012.
Photo: Nigel Greer. Nigel is a new volunteer and is helping to develop our online communications, including our Facebook, Twitter and Dog Blog updates.
Dog Welfare Team
Written by Lynne Flemming, Kennel Administrator
We would like to thank the 24 volunteer dog walkers who come in to walk the dogs at The Grange (Charity headquarters). These volunteers enjoy regular contact with the dogs and play an important role in the dogs’ well-being while they are in-training to become working hearing dogs.
The 18 volunteer drivers who help transport dogs between The Grange and the Beatrice Wright Centre on our weekly ‘Donnington trip’ (the midway meeting point); transport dogs to our puppy socialiser trainers in Cambridge and Southampton; collect recipient’s dogs and bring them to The Grange when required and sometimes transport dogs to the vet.
The six fosterers willing to look after older ‘working’ dogs while they are back at The Grange for health reasons and all the work experience students helping around the department.
All of our volunteers play such a vital role in the care of our dogs and help us to maintain exceptionally high standards. Thank you and Merry Christmas!
Photo: Pam Alesworth. Pam has been a volunteer dog walker for over eight years. She shows a genuine interest in all the dogs and like to follow their progress when they are placed with their recipient or go to a new home as a pet dog.
Written by Debbie Blyth, Supporter Services Manager
Our nationwide team of 260 speakers and 53 fundraising branches generously give up their time so that members of the public can be made aware of our work and our need for funds.
Since April 1 this year our speakers have given 476 talks, spoken to 14,000 people and raised just over £25,000. Our fundraising branches have held collections, taken stands at numerous events, organised sponsored walks and Newfoundland rescues and so far raised £62,000.
We are also lucky to have a team of volunteers based at head office who send out literature, put together fundraising support packs, do research, collate mailings and generally help with whatever is needed. They all work tremendously hard for the Charity, so I’d like to say a big thank you to each and every one of them!
Photo: Sue and Kirsty Hulls-Smith. Sue has helped out at the Summer Show, run the London Marathon, the GRIM event and the Women's Challenge in Hyde Park as well as helping out with some painting at the Grange.
Puppy Socialising Team
Written by Vicky Lidbury, Puppy Socialising Development Coordinator
The Socialising team would like to say a big thank you to each and every puppy socialiser for all their dedication and hard work throughout 2011. We have had numerous puppy socialisers and their puppies demonstrate the incredibly high standards of training socialising dogs receive through achievements such as The Kennel Club Good Citizens Scheme and the new Puppy Star Awards.
We also want to recognise all of our short-term cover volunteers who are ever willing to offer a puppy a home – often at a last minute request – when their full-time socialier is off on holiday. Together we have taken on just over 170 potential future hearing dog puppies, put just over 100 dogs forward for training and created 45 new hearing dog partnerships.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our volunteers. We look forward to and even more successful 2012!
Image: Julie Moore. Julie has been volunteering for four years and helped to socialise five puppies and helped out with short-term cover for a further two.
Written by Claire Bott, Dog Trainer
Our “bed & breakfast” and weekend socialisers help us out hugely. They allow our dogs to have a break and time out of their busy training schedules. Providing us with invaluable insight into the behaviour of our training dogs in the home, which we may not otherwise be able to find out.
We also have training centre volunteers who make our days run much more smoothly; helping us with sound work, taking dogs for walks and helping us out in a variety of other areas.
To all our training volunteers, we thank you for your continuing support, hard work and dedication.
Photo: Sharon Munday. Sharon volunteers for the Training Department two afternoons per week helping out with sound training and walking some of our puppies in training. She also helps out the Welfare Department two mornings a week.
Thanks again to all our amazing volunteers!
If you would like to volunteer for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, please click here for a run down of all fantastic volunteer opportunities open within the Charity.