Volunteer of the Month - August 2021 - Carol Day
Posted by Victoria Leedham
Carol Day is one of those notable volunteers who proves that impact can be just as valuable as longevity when it comes to volunteering. Interestingly, she also hails from a family who “socialised” (as we used to call it) hearing dogs back in the 90s – we absolutely love it when the children of volunteers come back to us in this way in their own adult lives!
Since joining Hearing Dogs for Deaf People as a Front of House volunteer earlier this year, Carol has gone above and beyond to help. She has done double shifts in The Grange Restaurant when we have been very busy, and regularly stayed later than her allocated hours to help.
Launched in May 2018, The Grange Restaurant & Gift Shop supports the charity by raising awareness of our work and providing an excellent spot for hearing dog partnerships, volunteers, staff, donors and the general public to meet up. The restaurant was designed with acoustic sound clouds, placing the comfort of those with hearing loss first, whilst also being incredibly dog friendly. Volunteers are recruited to help ‘front of house’ by greeting guests and helping in the smooth running of the restaurant alongside employed staff and our professional caterers.
Volunteers join the team with all sorts of fascinating backgrounds. Carol has a personal understanding of mild hearing loss and came with a wealth of valuable experience from her career in the events industry, plus a natural affinity with meeting and welcoming new people.
Senior Receptionist, Clare White, has witnessed this first hand: “Carol has been absolutely wonderful with one of our other new volunteers who is deaf and doesn’t lip read. Without even needing to be asked, Carol has gone out of her way to support them by learning basic sign language skills and new words each week. She has come up with ways for them to work together as a team to deliver the streamlined and efficient service the restaurant needs, without making the new volunteer feel in any way hindered by their deafness.”
We are extremely grateful to Carol, pictured left below, for all her support. Not only does she donate her own time to volunteering, but another volunteer has grown in confidence and truly blossomed because of her. Carol is a wonderful example of when the kindness our charity and its volunteers are known for extends its magic in all sorts of thoughtful ways.
Of course, Carol represents just one of the amazing team of about 45 regular volunteers who keep The Grange Restaurant operational seven days a week – all of whom are regularly applauded both in person and through reviews we receive on TripAdvisor, such as:
“All the volunteers and staff are amazing. So polite, caring, friendly and super professional. Loved how each one of them individually chatted to us for a long time - a credit to the charity!”
“The ladies looking after us were very kind and helpful making it a lovely relaxing afternoon. Also, by supporting the centre you help in the training of these wonderful dogs.”
“What a lovely place to spend our Bank Holiday Monday. The volunteer who served us was brilliant and just reflected our whole experience.”
“Great food and first-class service - the volunteers on top form as ever. Thank you.”
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