Volunteers of the Month - August 2018 - Lorna & Jez Nightingale

Posted by Victoria Leedham

Volunteers like Jez and Lorna Nightingale, from Wendover, are life-changers. Thanks to them, and many other behind-the-scenes volunteers at Hearing Dogs, people like Joanna Jones are now partnered with a hearing dog and lives are transformed immeasurably for the better.

Recipient Joanna explains: “Jez and Lorna generously opened their home and their hearts to would-be hearing dog Marshall, patiently trained him in sound work and nurtured his endearing personality.

As a result, Marshall is competent in responding to all the sounds I don't hear, and literally nudges me in the right direction! This, together with his affectionate nature, has given me confidence in daily life. In his new home town, Marshall has found many friends - doggy variety and humans! He seems to spread a sense of well-being wherever I take him.”

Janine Hovey, Dog Trainer, totally understands this sentiment: “Marshall is a sensitive soul and Jez and Lorna did such an amazing job to get him ready for his partnership with Joanna. As Training from Home volunteers, they did all the sound work themselves, and - despite not having done it before - Marshall passed his assessments with flying colours thanks to their consistent training and being so diligent in following our instructions, advice and guidance.

Jez and Lorna are such lovely people to work with. They are always so positive and happy, even though they’ve had several personal matters on their plate recently. They are always smiling and happy and give 100% to the dogs they train from home. I have been lucky enough to work with them twice and I couldn’t be happier with how both dogs, Marshall and Asia, have turned out. Both Jez and Lorna do their very best for the dogs they look after and it really does show in the results of the assessments.”

Heather Ahearn, another Dog Trainer, concurs: “I worked with Jez and Lorna with their first ever dog for Hearing Dogs, Kosma, a Labrador who unfortunately had a lot of health issues. She was not a straightforward dog to look after, but due to their incredible dedication, insatiable desire to learn, understand and help this dog she is now a successful, and very happy member of our Hearing Dogs Demonstration Team! This lovely outcome could not have been achieved without them, Jez and Lorna really are the type of volunteers that make this charity who we are.”

Upon joining the volunteer family, Jez and Lorna wrote to say they would like to “actively support a local charity and make a worthwhile contribution to helping others” and that has certainly been the case! Joanna concludes: “Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Jez and Lorna in person, and from the joy communicated by Marshall's waggy tail there are clearly 'no friends like old friends' - Marshall was as delighted to see them, as they were delighted to see the strong bond Marshall and I have. I am immensely grateful to Jez and Lorna; for their contribution to Hearing Dogs and to me personally.”

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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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