Diana's Volunteering Story

Posted by Victoria Leedham

Diana Harkiss from our Edinburgh and Midlothian puppy hub, has been a Volunteer Dog Trainer for Hearing Dogs for just over 2 years now. A relative new-comer to our volunteering family but her enthusiasim and passion for her role has ensured that her impact has been huge!


"I became a volunteer with Hearing Dogs because I love dogs and am fascinated by seeing puppies develop and their individual characters emerge as they grow up. I am very interested in training and have enjoyed learning lots about how to get the best out of a puppy and to see how they change into a clever, useful dog that can make such a difference to a deaf person's life. I feel very lucky that now I'm retired I have found something fulfilling that I love doing and that is so worthwhile", Diana comments.

Diana has successfully seen one dog through it's socialisation and training, Walter, a Cocker Spaniel who is now out working with his recipient. She is now working with her second puppy, Umba (as photographed below), who is in the early stages of her training. "It is very interesting to see how different the two dogs are in character, each delightful in their own way!"


Diana loves the sense of community and friendship that volunteering for our charity also brings; "it is very sociable and I have made lots of new friends. Caring for and training puppies keeps me busy and active all of which has great benefits for my wellbeing. Hearing Dogs is a very friendly charity and you really feel part of the Hearing Dog family."

Lastly, when we asked Diana what she'd say to anyone contemplating volunteering for our Charity, she had some sound advice to share. "If you love dogs and have plenty of time to devote to a puppy, being a puppy socialiser and trainer for Hearing Dogs must be one of the most rewarding things you can do. The charity gives you excellent support and training so you will learn lots as well as your puppy, and have lots of fun in the process!"

Psst! Don’t miss all the latest Hearing Dogs news…


Psst! sign up so you don't miss out
Would you like to know more about us, our dogs and our amazing community? We have a free monthly e-newsletter that we send out to 14,000 of our fantastic friends. It would be great if you joined, too.

You’ll get:
  • Updates on how we train our dogs and how they change deaf people’s lives.
  • A monthly dose of Cute Corner – a post dedicated to our adorable puppies!
  • Behind-the-scenes stories and photos.
  • News of upcoming events and ways you can help us create more hearing dogs.


Share this post with your friends


Add a comment

All comments are moderated

About the author

Victoria Leedham

Hello, I’m Victoria and Head of Volunteering at Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. It’s my privilege to celebrate and share stories about our wonderful volunteer family.

More posts by this author