Awards and recognition

Local Volunteer Awards 2020

The Local Volunteer Awards recognise outstanding work carried out by our amazing volunteers. This year the award categories are based on our new Guide Dogs Behaviours.

Our behaviours capture the essence of what it is to be Guide Dogs PEOPLE, whether staff or volunteer. The behaviours are both new and yet rooted in our heritage; they reflect how we are, but also how we aspire to be. They are shared, and individual. Please see our guidance below to help you complete the form.

Nominations close at midday on Thursday 30 July 2020.

Nominate your Guide Dogs volunteer heroes!

We have included some prompts for each category to help you write your nomination. You don’t have to stick to these questions, these are only a guide to help you. Do include any other relevant information you think may help the nomination. 


We are a group of people working to help each person affected by sight loss. We listen, and recognise that every individual is different in where they’ve come from and where they’re going. We are open, empathetic and inclusive. We place the person at the centre of every decision.

  • Describe how this individual/group focussed on the needs of a service user     
  • How does this individual/group values diverse backgrounds or experiences 
  • Provide examples of how this individual/group helps and supports others 


We are specialists in what we do. We are committed to excellence and will never stop innovating. We respect our history, but seek out ways to adapt and improve, and are always willing to learn.

  • How has this individual/group demonstrated new innovative ways of doing things 
  • How has this individual/group strived to achieve a personal or team goal (e.g.  raising funds or supporting a service user to achieve a goal)?     
  • How has this individual/group used their knowledge or skills or to improve the way we do things at Guide Dogs?  


We are relentless in our belief that people with vision impairment can lead the life they choose. We are passionate about helping each person, committed to challenging barriers, and proud of who we are and what we achieve.

  • Give examples of how this individual/group demonstrates a positive outlook
  • Describe how this individual/group demonstrates their passion to support the work of Guide Dogs
  • Has this individual/group overcame adversity or a challenging situation to continue to help others? 


We only change lives when we collaborate. We build valued relationships with donors. We work together with our service users and colleagues, volunteers and partners – and our dogs, of course – to deliver great outcomes. We support and develop each other.

  • Tell us about a time when this individual/group has sought the views of others and valued their input
  • Describe how this individual/group has developed good working relationships
  • Describe a situation when this individual/group has got others involved/onboard and worked collaboratively with them as part of a team


We can all be a guide. We take the lead, and then hand it over, empowering people to make progress without us. We gain trust by having
faith in others, and influence by example. We do what we say we will.

  • Describe how this individual/group has encouraged positive behaviour and actions from others
  • Describe how this volunteer has affected positive change 
  • Has this individual/group helped improve a project 


We cannot change lives if we look on from the side-lines. We get involved, take ownership, and feel responsible for all we do, think and say. We celebrate wins big and small, and we hold ourselves and each other to account.

  • Describe how this individual/group has made participation central to their volunteering
  • Describe how the individual/group has celebrated success as a collective      
  • Describe how this individual/group has involved another person or group with Guide Dogs.

Pat on the Back recognition scheme

Guide Dogs’ vision is of a society in which people with sight loss enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else. At Guide Dogs we really value the contribution and commitment of all our volunteers and staff, working together to ensure that our vision is achieved.

The Pat on the Back recognition scheme is designed to recognise outstanding achievements of individuals or teams volunteering or working for Guide Dogs which contribute towards our overall mission and demonstrate our values:

  • Person-centred
  • Expert
  • Optimistic
  • Partner
  • Lead-by-example
  • Engage

What is a Pat on the Back?

Pat on the Back is a scheme whereby volunteers and staff members can be nominated for carrying out something over and above their usual activities or duties in line with our values and contributing to our overall purpose. It can be a one off activity or something that has taken place over a period of time.

Anyone can nominate a staff member or volunteer including Guide Dogs’ volunteers, staff members, clients and members of the public. Where someone doesn’t have access to the internet, a staff member may need to assist them with their nomination.

What will happen once I have submitted my nomination?

Once we have received your nomination form the person you have nominated will receive a thank you letter containing your message from the nomination form along with a Pat on the Back pin badge. We will include your name in the letter so the person knows who made the nomination.

There is no limit on how many times you can put someone forward for a Pat on the Back, but please think carefully about your reasons before submitting the individual’s details more than once.

Volunteers nominated will also be considered for a local or national volunteering award or the annual People Awards.

There is no closing date for Pat on the Back; it's a rolling programme, so it is timely and you can show your appreciation all year round!

Pat on the Back nomination form

Nomination forms must be typed and submitted to

Get in touch

If you need any help completing the nomination form, please call the volunteering office

0345 143 0191