Volunteers of the Month - January 2019 - Pam & Geoff Harper

Posted by Victoria Leedham

Pam & Geoff Harper have been volunteers with Hearing Dogs for Deaf People since 2010. They are an enormous asset to both our puppy training scheme and fundraising in Cambridgeshire. Now approaching a decade of volunteering, they are just as dedicated, just as enthusiastic and just as lovely to work with as ever.

A fine example of this came up last year. As part of a volunteer recruitment drive, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire wanted to do an interview about puppy training in the area. Pam had just returned home when the phone rang to ask her if she could possibly get to the studio straight away. Without fuss, Pam literally turned around and drove over with puppy Winter for a live interview!

PR Manager David Robson recalls: “We were contacted by BBC Radio Cambridgeshire very last minute for a guest. I was so grateful that Pam agreed to help out, even though my call was literally less than an hour before she needed to be on! Not only that, she was fantastic – a real natural on the radio.”

Pam certainly knows her stuff. As a volunteer speaker with the Cambridge Branch, she gives an exceptional number of talks and is always on message, enthusing whatever audience it may be from cubs and brownies, to WIs and Rotary groups.

Pam doesn’t do this alone.  Husband Geoff often accompanies her to talks, or equally sometimes stays at home depending on the age of whatever puppy they’re training at the time. Libby Jolly, Puppy Training Instructor, explains:

“Pam & Geoff are extremely dedicated to Hearing Dogs. Despite Pam having some health concerns, they attend classes without fail and are a huge support to newer, less experienced volunteers.  Currently they’re in the latter stages of their ninth puppy Winter’s advanced training. Pam is Winter’s primary handler, but together they have trained her tirelessly and consistently to a standard that means she will be placed directly with her deaf partner this year”.

Community Fundraising Manager, Rachel Clarke, knows what dedicated, reliable members of the volunteer family the Harpers are too: “Pam & Geoff are always busy training dogs or raising funds for Hearing Dogs. They help out at most events in the Cambridgeshire area, including the Great British Dog Walks that have taken place at Wimpole Hall. In the last few months Pam has had a very bad back but is still very determined to do everything she can. Even in the run-up to Christmas they gave their time for a supermarket collection which raised nearly £600 and at which Winter was a credit to them; beautifully behaved and representing Hearing Dogs splendidly”.

Pam & Geoff are such positive people they’re great at inspiring others to join the volunteer family, be it on the radio or in person. Pam has run coffee mornings at a local garden centre encouraging people to join in and even laminated posters for another puppy training area as a little favour. In short, if they can find a way to help, they always will.

As trusted, accomplished and loyal friends of the Charity we thank Pam & Geoff for all that they do and really look forward to another year in their cheery company.

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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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