Volunteer of the Month - July 2019 - Rachel Robinson

Posted by Victoria Leedham

Rachel is one of those capable volunteers who knows what they’re doing and simply cracks on with it! She’s pragmatic and, as such, perfectly suited to being a Welfare Fosterer which is a dog care role that necessitates a huge degree of patience and understanding, and suits someone who can deal with things sensibly and realistically.

Rachel has all of these qualities and has never once balked at the hugely variable timescales and unexpected challenges her volunteering has thrown at her since joining us in 2012. Karen Long, National Logistics Co-ordinator, says: “Rachel is an amazing Welfare Fosterer.  She is always happy to take a dog at short notice (even at Christmastime, or within hours of arriving back from holiday!) and is fully understanding when 'a couple of nights' turns into a much longer stay with the Robinsons.”

“I loved watching the progress of one of Rachel's longest houseguests, Ingle. When he came to her he was quite subdued and content to just sit, sleep or watch the world go by. However, after a short time in her care, he was on long walks with her pet dog Ayla, regained his spark and really came out of his shell to become a proper cheeky little Spaniel! I loved hearing about the mischief he had got up to.”

However, far be it from being simply fun and games with Rachel. She fully appreciates the responsibility of her volunteering as Dog Welfare Officer Rebekah Inder explains: “Rachel played such an important role within Ingle’s journey. When she brought him in for his health check and grooming session, she was always very descriptive of what he’d been up to, or any issues he’d had. She’s always receptive to any advice and instructions, including a specially prescribed diet for Ingle which really helped him health wise”.

Danni Whitty, Welfare Fosterer Volunteer Coordinator, concurs: “Rachel is an experienced and highly valued member of the team who is always happy to help whether it's short notice cover for a couple of nights or several months caring for some of our dogs with more complex needs. All the dogs she looks after are really welcomed into the family and I know they are made to feel completely at home during their stay”.

“Not only this, but Rachel has been a great help at recruitment events like the Volunteer Fair telling potential new fosterers more about what she does, as well as recommending her friends and acquaintances to become involved. She’s a confident volunteer speaker and a great ambassador for the charity”.

Fellow volunteer Malcolm Sparkes tells us more: “Having supported Rachel with Scottie my gorgeous Cockapoo on two occasions where she was the main speaker at the Bourne End Scout Hall earlier this year I can attest to the fact that she is very knowledgeable about Hearing Dogs and presents her material with a sense of humour and a warm personality”.

“Rachel commands everyone's 100% attention and respect, and that includes sitting up straight when she is addressing the cubs! It was refreshing to see the reaction from the youngsters who were a delight to be around and chat to. Scottie was very popular and the next time I went along I was presented with a very nice sketch of him drawn by the cubs”.

On behalf of all of Rachel’s audiences, as well as the many dogs she’s cared for like Acorn, Brian, Ingle, Kasper, Koda, Molly, Reggie, Ringo, Samson, Shyla and Tia, we’d like to thank Rachel for her kindness, reliability, expertise and genuine desire to support Hearing Dogs in every way she can.

 

 

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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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