Volunteers of the Month - January 2020 - Sally & David Meace

Posted by Victoria Leedham

To celebrate their third anniversary of volunteering with Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, we would like to sincerely thank Sally and David Meace from Easingwold, near York, for coming forward to offer their time as well as 40 plus years’ experience of having dogs in their lives.

Upon joining us the Meaces said simply that they’d like to support a “Good cause. Enjoy dogs. Have time available and would like to help”. What this succinct statement didn’t let on was both their wonderful personalities and kindhearted nature, which shone through from the moment of meeting.

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Sally also revealed she is the daughter of a vet and been a livestock farmer herself, so well used to administering medication and would be happy to do so for our dogs if ever the occasion arose. James Jones, Dog Welfare Officer, says: “Sally and David are always hot on keeping us up to date with any health checks and issues. They’re very reliable and although they don’t live on the doorstep of the Beatrice Wright Centre they’re always happy to come over to bring any dog in when needed and help with events.”

Sally and David have brough quiet confidence and complete understanding to their role. They were signed up as Welfare Fosterers and that has since evolved into a specialism of looking after qualified hearing dogs who have returned from their partnership for whatever unforeseen circumstance. We look for a calm household on these unusual occasions, and we must add that Megan – their lovely black Labrador – uses her own gentle canine intuition in welcoming guests to the Meace’s home.

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Karen Rigg, Quality Assurance Evaluator, explains: “As part of my role in Quality Assurance I assess these very special dogs to see what route and Hearing Dogs role will now suit them best. Sally and David have kindly looked after several dogs who have needed this assessment and they have been really helpful and flexible in allowing me visit, as well as bringing them over to the Centre, which has allowed us to evaluate them in a home environment as well as in a more formal setting.”

“They have been brilliant at keeping us up to date on the dog's health and behaviour, very understanding when timescales have been difficult to pinpoint, and have completely gone the extra mile by allowing me to use their own home to do some refresher soundwork as well as practicing any training for me between visits.”

“The use of their home and their dedicated volunteering has had a direct impact on our desire to help more deaf people leave loneliness behind and reconnect with life, and their smiley welcome has a positive impact on my working day! So far they have helped me to place two dogs in new partnerships and are currently working with a third dog, Watson, whom we are hoping to match and place soon.”

Sally and David spread their sunshine by supporting our recent Volunteer Fair at the Beatrice Wright Centre, the purpose of which was to attract new members to our volunteer family. Dog Welfare Officer Becky Hewick says: “The Meaces are really friendly and very easy to talk to which is great for potential new volunteers who may have some trepidation as to what it all entails. Watson came along too and was equally charming of course!”

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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.

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