Today marks the start of Volunteers’ Week (1st-7th June), which is held annually to celebrate the contribution that millions of volunteers make across the UK. This year, it also coincides with The Queen's Platinum Jubilee weekend to commemorate The Queen for 70 years of service.
Here at Guide Dogs, we simply wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the hard work, commitment and dedication of our incredible 14,000 volunteers who between them put in a colossal 13 million hours every year. A huge thank you to each and every one of you!
Despite challenging times over the past couple of years, our volunteers have continued to support us throughout. Many carried on raising puppies, fostering dogs and looking after our guide dog Mums and Dads in their own homes, while others took on alternative roles such as making ‘keep in touch’ calls to service users when volunteering in their usual way wasn’t possible. We are truly humbled by their ongoing support and being there for us as we all get used to ‘living with Covid’.
Did you know?
Our volunteers carry out around 74 different roles, from Puppy Raisers and Breeding Dog Holders to Fundraisers, Fosterers and My Sighted Guides
Around one in five people who use a Guide Dogs service also volunteer for us
We’re joining in the festivities by hosting Local Volunteer Awards in the run up to and during the week, sharing special messages and volunteer stories, promoting ways to get involved, and Jubilee-themed content.
Here’s Tracey Berridge, Head of Volunteering at Guide Dogs with a short message to introduce Volunteers’ Week and to thank our volunteers for their ongoing support:
Leslie, who lives in Northern Ireland, is one of our fantastic fundraising volunteers, and also a guide dog owner. Together with his wife Stephanie and son Reece, they enjoy fundraising as a family and manage to fit this in around everyday life as the role enables them to be flexible with the time they give.
“Lots of people don’t realise the work and time that goes into training a guide dog and that Guide Dogs provide other services. I love spreading the word, enjoy being out and about and talking to people and increasing awareness, as well as raising money at the same time.”
Leslie, a fundraising volunteer and guide dog owner
We will also be sharing highlights from the Local Volunteer Awards on our awards and recognition page in mid-June.