Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh joined a Guide Dogs puppy class with volunteers and staff on Monday 8th May as part of the coronation celebrations. The class was held as part of The Big Help Out, connecting nationwide recruitment of volunteers to millions of local opportunities for people to make a difference.
The Duchess is Guide Dogs’ Patron, and Their Royal Highnesses joined future life-changing puppies Hollie, Lucy, Luker, Nyla and Sunny and their volunteer puppy raisers at a special class that celebrated the weekend’s festivities with a coronation-themed café.
The Duke and Duchess joined in with the interactive class which focused on skills to help the puppies on their journey to become a guide dog. Activities included participating in a recall session; food manners; distraction disguises and how to refocus pups in a café situation.
The Big Help Out is the national campaign highlighting the importance and benefits of volunteering as part of the celebrations taking place during the coronation weekend. Guide Dogs is one of thousands of charities raising awareness of our vital volunteer roles through a series of taster sessions across the UK.
Among the many different roles, Guide Dogs is appealing for volunteer fosterers to come forward who will provide loving homes for guide dogs in training. They play a crucial role in looking after dogs like Hollie, Lucy, Luker, Nyla and Sunny during evenings and weekends when they enter their formal training at one of our centres around the UK.
Guide Dogs Chairman Jamie Hambro said: “We are honoured to mark this very special weekend and such an important initiative – The Big Help Out - with our Patron, The Duchess of Edinburgh, and The Duke. We are grateful for them taking part in today’s session to raise awareness of volunteering and its benefits, and of course for all our volunteers who continue to support us. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to reach and support as many people with sight loss as we do. We’re delighted to be able to showcase these vital roles as part of The Big Help Out. We want to encourage anyone who’d like to find out more to join us at one of our taster sessions in the coming weeks or visit the Guide Dogs’ website for more information.”
More information on the volunteering roles available at Guide Dogs can be found at www.guidedogs.org.uk/volunteering