Our range of volunteering opportunities not only help people with sight loss in a variety of ways but with so many roles to choose from, and the flexibility to try something different – there’s always a new challenge, fun to be had, and of course, people to meet.
In this blog, Sue shares her volunteering experience, highlighting her involvement in key fundraising roles and the development of a new network of like-minded individuals, her Guide Dogs family. If like Sue, you want to give back and meet new people, you’re in the right place.
Sue Marks has been volunteering with Guide Dogs for the last 9 years. More recently, she has enjoyed leading her local fundraising group in Chard, Ilminster, and Crewkerne as both its Coordinator and Treasurer for the group.
She began her journey as a puppy raiser, helping us raise the future generation of guide dogs. And more recently, she has taken on the challenge of leading her local fundraising group in two different roles.
Sue is a highly esteemed member of our volunteer community, having won numerous volunteer awards for her outstanding volunteering efforts.
This year, Sue has been the winner of the Expert award in the Bristol and Somerset volunteer awards. A snippet of Sue's winning nomination has been shared in a recent blog about our Local Volunteering Awards.
Here Sue reflects and shares her volunteering experience at Guide Dogs, giving you a glimpse of what it could be like if you joined us as a volunteer:
“I’ve been volunteering for about 9 years. I started as a puppy raiser. We had lost our lovely German Shepherd and we were devastated. I had seen some puppy raisers out and about and asked a few questions and liked what I heard. Got in touch with Guide Dogs, had the interview and within a short time had a lovely little 8-week-old pup!
He was successful and is still working. Then the next pup was Rachel, a completely different little beauty. I raised her for the first year...So eight years later she is still with us and has been the best little dog! Rach helps us at collections and events as an Ambassador Dog.
My experience as a volunteer has been brilliant. I’ve made a whole new group of friends - we all say it’s our Guide Dogs family. We have a committee to run our fundraising group; I started off as Treasurer and now act as Coordinator too as it’s been difficult to get takers for either of the jobs.
I organise the events and have got some good support from the committee, local puppy raisers and Guide Dog Owners. It’s not easy to find new volunteers so we’re always on the lookout!
I enjoy volunteering as I like to talk to people at our events and relate the Guide Dogs story, I love seeing all the puppies grow and move on to advanced training. I like getting everyone involved in events, love getting prepared for events, whether that’s collecting cuddly toys or organising prizes for the tombola or raffles.
The most satisfying thing of all is to see a working guide dog with its owner and realising how vital our work is. It reminds me why I keep doing it!”
If Sue’s story has inspired you to volunteer, check out our range of fundraising roles and apply today.