9 Good Reasons To Consider Volunteering For Guide Dogs

Greetings one an all. 

Our Guide Dogs Week blogathon continues today with a look at volunteering. It is well known and acknowledged throughout Guide dogs that the organisation simply couldn’t do the work it does, change the life’s it changes, without the help of its army of wonderful volunteers.

So todays post takes a look at some reasons why Commando and I are actively involved with volunteering, as well as some reasons why you, dear readers, may wish to become involved yourselves.  Naturally, following the theme of the posts during this time, our magic number shall, once again, be the number 9…

To see if you like it…

Within Guide Dogs there are a number of volunteer roles, covering a wide range of areas.  One of the largest areas is that of fund raising.  With the average cost of a guide dog at around £50,000 and with the guide dog service receiving not a single penny in government funding every single penny raised does count.  This year, once again, one of the themes of Guide dogs Week is donate an hour.  This provides a chance for people who may have been thinking about volunteering for Guide dogs to offer to donate an hour of their time to help at a local collection event.  This is a fine opportunity to find out what is involved in being a Guide Dogs volunteer, and to see if it’s something that you may like to become involved in on a more long term basis.  If you would be interested in doing so then please contact your local Mobility team, who will be very happy to help you to donate an hour.  It could open up a whole new world for you…

To meet new people…

Regularly through my volunteering roles with Guide Dogs I have met many new people.  Many of them through my role as a Guide Dogs Speaker.   These people have always been enthusiastic, friendly and of course very attentive over Commando, something which he always loves.  It has always been a pleasure to meet these new people, to talk to them about Guide Dogs in general, and Commando in particular, explaining how he does the work he does and how that work and the work of Guide Dogs has changed my life for the better in so many ways.  It is also good fun to answer the many and varied questions which we are asked, which can cover a multitude of subject areas.  It is always my hope that Commando and I have left these people with a far greater understanding of Guide Dogs, and life with sight loss in general, and perhaps created the desire in some to help the organisation in some way in the future.  It has also been our pleasure to help one or two people who have been afraid of dogs, to become just a little more comfortable around them, thanks in no small part to the friendly nature which Commando just naturally radiates.

To learn New skills…

As a Guide dogs volunteer you will learn a number of new skills.  Whatever role you choose to undertake within the organisation you can be sure that you’ll receive the necessary training to be the very best at that role.  But you will also have the chance to undertake training in other roles should you wish to do so, and your skills in the roles you hold will be kept up to date with regular top up training.  Throughout my time as a volunteer I have learned a number of new skills, including training in dealing with the media, and in writing press releases.  Opportunities like that don’t come along every day in day to day life.

To apply existing skills in new ways…

You may be wondering what you could bring to Guide Dogs as a volunteer, but I’m sure you’d be surprised at the skills you probably already have, and how they could help you as a volunteer.  I have found a number of times, when involving myself in new roles or tasks for the organisation, just how skills I already have can help me take on the new challenge, and how skills you can learn as a Guide Dogs volunteer can help you in other aspects of life.  I’m quite sure my experience as a Guide Dogs Speaker has aided my presentation skills.  After all, what’s presenting to a class-room sized group when you’ve spoken to a hall full…

To gain invaluable experience…

The varied volunteering roles within Guide dogs means that there is an opportunity to gather a great deal of useful experience.  Whether that’s in meeting new people and serving as an official representative of an organisation and knowing exactly how to comport yourself to ensure that you present a positive picture of that organisation, and yourself.  Or whether its planning and organising fund raising activities for your local fund raising branch.  Or learning how to lay the foundations to turn an adorable little ball of fir into a life-changing guide dog.  Or gaining experience of working as part of a team to achieve a common goal.  All of these skills could come in useful in a number of different ways, meaning that helping Guide Dogs could also help you.  As a volunteer, and as someone who is now actively seeking employment I have been pleasantly surprised at how much of the experience and skills I have learned and cultivated during my time volunteering for Guide dogs appear to fit nicely into areas which employers hold in high regard.

To make new friends…

As a Guide Dogs volunteer I have been able to make a number of new friends through my various roles, both within the Mobility Team, and with those who are also volunteering with me.  It is always far more enjoyable to undertake tasks when you know that you’ll have some friends with you with whom you can share a joke, or just have a nice conversation with as you work.

To make a difference…

As a Guide dogs volunteer you will be playing a part in helping to change the life of someone living with sight loss for the better.  Currently there are 180,000 people in the U.K. living with limited or no eye sight, who are never able to leave home on their own.  Guide Dogs wants to be able to help everyone who needs them, but in order to do that they need help…  Every single volunteer, no matter how involved their role, no matter how much time they are able to give the organisation, is helping Guide dogs to help those who need them.  Be assured that your efforts do not go unnoticed or unappreciated.  I am immensely grateful to every single volunteer who was involved in bringing Commando into my life.  From his Puppy Walker, to his Volunteer Border, to the people who gave their time to help with the fund raising initiatives which lead to Commando’s most wonderful name, which was given as a gift to the Royal Marines who were among those assisting in the fund raising endeavours of Travis Trek.

To have an excellent excuse to where something luminous…

This year, once again, the theme for Guide Dogs Week is to stand out for Guide dogs.  As a  result there are a number of opportunities to break out the bright…  Regular readers may recall that last Guide Dogs Week I took this idea to heart and pledged to go everywhere that week wearing my Guide dogs luminescent waterproof coat.  These had been offered to all volunteers who wished to have one.  So I spent the week running around the University campus looking extremely dapper whilst at the same time advertising Guide Dogs and Guide Dogs Week.  Plus, as a result of the weather, keeping extremely dry in some very heavy rain.  I believe that once again this year there are luminous items to be had for those who wish to volunteer during Guide dogs Week, but I suspect supplies are limited folks, so waste no further time, volunteer, claim your luminous Guide Dogs Week apparel, and where it with pride.

To give something back…

The strongest driving force behind my volunteering for Guide Dogs is without doubt the desire to give something back.  The difference Commando has made to my life is incalculable, and I feel that it is my duty to do whatever I can to help Guide Dogs in return for what they have given me.  This decision is purely one of my own making.  As guide dog owners we are in no way obliged to volunteer for the organisation, the decision is ours alone and will in no way impact upon the assistance we receive from the organisation.  But I truly feel that giving some of my time to help out in any way I can is truly the least I can do, not only to say thank you to Guide Dogs for Commando, but also to try and, in some small way, ensure that Guide Dogs will always be able to help those people who need them, just as they helped me.  In other words, to ensure that there will always be a Guide Dogs there for those who need them, and that ability to pay will never be a deciding factor on whether or not someone receives the guide dog that could change their life.  The alternative, dear readers, does not bare thinking about…

Comments

Guide Dogs , 12:36pm Wed 7 Oct 2015:


Hi Lorranie You can find out more on our website at http://www.guidedogs.org.uk/volunteering

Lorraine, 10:31am Wed 7 Oct 2015:


would love more information on being a volunteer Please

Add comment

* - required field

*



*



Share:

685


Thank You Lets Glow Collect (1)


Susan Collis