Volunteer of the Month - March 2020 - Bob Bowyer

Posted by Victoria Leedham

Bob Bowyer could write the manual on How to Retire Well! He’s a charismatic and cheerful member of the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People community in Buckinghamshire, a man with many interests, a loving family and a real zest for being active in the charities and organisations he supports.

He’s a volunteer that added value from day one and is happy to muck in with whatever any day may present at Hearing Dogs – be that a driving assignment, data input, or setting up for one of our events. Bob’s got a ready laugh and a relaxed, unassuming manner that puts everyone at ease and really enjoy his amiable company.

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With his senior level career in the print industry and high level service with the police force, Bob knows that completing the seemingly smallest of tasks is equal to the bigger ones and that his time is well spent and appreciated. Bob painstakingly transferred missing information following a database upgrade, working his way from A to Z to ensure that volunteer records were maintained correctly. His Fridays are now spent in the Fundraising & Comms Office meticulously working on the Charity’s central image library.

Veronica Pearce, Communications Executive, says: “Bob is being a tremendous help uploading images of puppies and partnerships to our image library every week. It’s quite laborious work, but Bob cracks on with good humour and whittles through hundreds of images, tagging them with vital information as he goes. It's always a pleasure to welcome Bob into the office, and as long as he got a mug of hot chocolate he's happy!”

Bob has a real knack for fitting into office life; he’s as happy joining in with the jokes and banter as he is with putting in a full day’s concentration on the task in hand. He is extremely reliable, super-efficient at anything he undertakes and his easy-going personality is truly enjoyed by all.

This sentiment is echoed by Karen Long, Operations Liaison Officer: “I love Bob's sense of humour and have been on the receiving end of his dry sense of humour on numerous occasions, and despite considering myself to have a quick wit, he is always quicker!”

“Bob is one of our brilliant volunteer drivers and I can say, without hesitation, that nothing is ever too much trouble for him. He never gets upset if arrangements are altered last minute and he even rearranged a weekly personal commitment when one of the most regular drives he does for us changed from Thursdays to Tuesdays. He doesn’t mind if the drive is paperwork, people or young pups, however if it’s the latter then he always goes to the trouble of letting the relevant people know – often with an accompanying  photo - that these precious bundles have been in safe hands during the journey and arrived safely at their destination. It’s a thoughtful touch that’s really appreciated by his fellow volunteers.”

Danni Whitty, Welfare Fostering Volunteer Co-Ordinator (Maternity Leave), recalls: 

“We had a dog last year who needed repeat visits to a veterinary specialist and without Bob’s help we would have really struggled to make all of the appointments. It was nice for consistency and the dog’s welfare that Bob offered to do all the drives, often waiting there with them, rather than coming and going.”

“Whenever I have contacted him for help with a drive he has always been super friendly and keen to help. He is always so pleasant whenever I see him on site or speak to him on the phone; no job seems too big or small when you chat to him. He really is a great volunteer.”

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When not driving or helping in the office, then Bob can often be found supporting various fundraising events for Hearing Dogs. Be that locally at The Grange, or the Kop Hill Climb or further afield as the lead knowledge of our Crufts set-up team or personally taking on a challenge event for his seventieth birthday. Community Fundraising Manager, Nicholas Orpin, says: “Bob is a big part of our legendary #TeamBurgundy and in 2017 abseiled the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth. It was a pleasure to have him on board on the day and I agree that he’s an absolute credit to the Charity. His obvious affection for all things Hearing Dogs certainly inspired his friends, family and ex-colleagues to dig deep and his fundraising topped a whopping £900!”

Bob is such a popular person to have in our midst that we’re all really missing his good cheer at this time. We love seeing photos of the special occasion cakes his wife Janet makes and of course his brilliant tales from being a film extra and studio audience member. Sadly Bob has lost his beloved pet dog Max this month and we know how hard that’s been for him. He always said Max knew that when Bob put on his burgundy polo shirt and fleece that it wasn’t walkies time, and that he’d get extra curious sniffs on his return. When the time’s right and the heart has healed a little, we know that Bob will be adding a dog care role to the many ways he supports Hearing Dogs.

Thank you for everything Bob, take care.

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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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