Hayley's Volunteering Story

Posted by Victoria Leedham

In 2014, Hearing Dogs were lucky enough to have Hayley, from Bedford, join our volunteering family. Hayley had been forced to leave her job earlier in the year, to provide full-time care for her son, Luke. Luke suffers from a chronic gastro condition, as well as a number of behavioural issues, which has massively affected his, and his family’s quality of life. His illness saw his confidence and social skills plummet and he hid himself away, refusing to leave his room. “Luke became painfully shy. He was so alone - something needed to change.”

At this point Hayley saw our advert in a local newspaper asking for volunteers to help socialise hearing dog puppies. She applied and a few weeks later was socialising a hearing dog puppy for the charity. She and Luke had no idea of the transformation that was soon to follow.

Wilber, a gorgeous Cocker Spaniel puppy, was placed with their family and they were smitten from the moment they met! Luke instantly seemed happier and more confident, leaving the house to help socialize Wilber in different public environments, something he would not do before, “I could see something almost magical happening!” Hayley commented. Not only did Luke support Wilber in his training, Wilber attended Luke’s hospital appointments with him, bringing with him a positivity and ease that had not existed prior to this new friendship.

Luke has now decided to study Animal Science at a local college and Hayley feels this is thanks to their relationship with Hearing Dogs. “To anybody thinking of becoming a Hearing Dog volunteer, I would say without hesitation to do it! It has changed our life so dramatically from where we were.”

 

 

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About the author

Victoria Leedham

Hello, I’m Victoria and the Volunteering Manager at Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. We refer to our volunteers as the Hearing Dogs ‘family’ and really mean it; hopefully some of my blog posts here will explain why!

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