Volunteer from Oxfordshire takes on the Thames to name a guide dog puppy after late husband

Author: Regional Marketing and Communications Team
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Our volunteers are a vital part of what we do, and what better time to celebrate that than during Volunteers’ Week. Volunteer Tracy has been an active part of the Guide Dogs family since 2018, when she decided to get involved after the sudden passing of her husband. Recently, Tracy and her daughter Jess decided to take on a voyage that would link these aspects of her life together.

Tracy experienced a profound shift in her life following her husband’s sudden death six years ago. “At that point, I realized life is too short, and I needed to do something different,” she shared. In 2018, she left her career to reassess and started volunteering as a puppy raiser for Guide Dogs, before moving on to giving a home to a guide dog mum, Poppy.

Upon moving to Oxfordshire, Tracy answered a desperate call for volunteers from Guide Dogs, who were setting up a new fundraising group in the area. Over the years her involvement has grown, with Tracy leading the way as a Group Coordinator and volunteer speaker with her faithful fundraising helper (and Ambassador Dog) Poppy by her side.

Tracy’s husband, Davey, had always wanted to do the journey down the Thames from Lechlade, Gloucestershire to Teddington Lock, but unfortunately wasn’t able to undertake the adventure before he suddenly passed away from cardiac arrest at the age of 56. Tracy and Jess decided to make the journey to honour his memory, using the proceeds of their fundraiser to honour his memory while also giving back to the charity that Tracy loves.

“This canoeing trip was more than just a fundraiser; it was about linking everything together,” Tracy said. “It was wonderful to spend this time with Jess, doing something my husband always wanted to do.”

The 10-day journey was a challenge made more difficult by changing weather, but with the support of each other, and a friend for logistics, they made it the full way. The pair have raised over £2,600 from their journey, which will go towards naming a puppy Davey, in memory of Tracy’s late husband.

If you’re interested in finding more about volunteering in your area, follow this link.

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