Volunteers of the Month - March 2021 - Nicola & Chris Rose

Posted by Victoria Leedham

Nicola and Chris Rose handily live a stone’s throw away from our Beatrice Wright Centre in East Yorkshire. When applying to become volunteer fosterers in 2019 they said “we feel we all want to help and give something back to others” from which we quickly ascertained this was going to be a family affair, including son Callum, who has been very much involved in helping his mum and dad with their dog care role.   

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Becky Hewick, Dog Welfare Officer, has been working closely with the family since they started looking after Labrador Berry: “Nicola, Chris and Callum are amazing! Berry has had a few health issues along the way which they’ve dealt with admirably and with kindness. The pandemic hasn’t made any different whatsoever to their input or availability; every ask or instruction is followed perfectly and it’s an absolute pleasure to work with them.”

Berry’s health issues have meant that Nicola has had regular trips to and from the centre and the vet, which she’s undertaken without question – always wanting the best for Berry. At times they have also nursed her through the night, with Nicola offering to stay downstairs with Berry both for reassurance and for practicality with a big dog needing crate rest. Callum has also helped by putting blankets in her crate and making it into a lovely snug den. 

Becky continues: “Since day one Nicola has been so helpful at updating me every step of the way, following all our guidance and communicating any concerns straight away. Nicola has actually had medical issues of her own including a scheduled operation, however it didn't stop her from making sure all Berry's needs were fully met - often before her own. Nicola and Chris are both so lovely, and kindness itself in their continued care of Berry.”

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“Their son Callum loves Berry so much. He enjoys helping out wherever he’s allowed and has shown real compassion and understanding when Berry has been poorly. Out and about, if Callum stops Berry will not walk on until he has caught up. He really does adore her, as she does him.”

James Jones, also a Dog Welfare Officer based at the Beatrice Wright Centre, agrees: “Becky has described them perfectly. Nicola and Chris are always really cheerful, friendly, and so easy to have a giggle with about Berry’s quirks!”

Quality Assurance Evaluator, Karen Rigg, also works closely with them: “The whole family have been a joy to work with. They do their absolute best for Berry with every new challenge, be it working on behaviour modification, sound work training via Teams video call or nursing Berry when she has been poorly. They are such a kind, loving family - always cheerful, even during this difficult last year.”

“Nicola and Chris genuinely couldn't be more helpful, and Callum loves playing his part too. I feel that his involvement in his mum and dad’s volunteering has given him something positive to focus on during lockdown whilst he’s not physically been at school, nor able to attend his usual after school sports activities and clubs. It’s a pleasure to witness how proud he is of Berry and how he’s enjoyed helping out in inventive ways.”

Becky concludes: “I honestly couldn't be more grateful to all the Roses! They are amongst the most committed, giving and supportive volunteers I’ve ever worked with. I hope they know how appreciative we are and that they feel proud of their accomplishment as first-timers volunteers who’ve truly adapted their lives to look after and train Berry so well.”

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About the author

Victoria Leedham

Hello, I'm Victoria and Head of Volunteering for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and Hearing Link. It’s my privilege to celebrate and share stories about our wonderful volunteer family.

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