Meet our Volunteers: Ray and Jackie01 June 2021
Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Greyhound Trust and we simply would not be able to operate without the support of the amazing and dedicated individuals around the UK who give up their time to support us.
From caring for and walking the dogs to carrying out home visits, attending events, fundraising or branch social media and website support, there are lots of different things our volunteers do to help make the Trust a success!
Volunteer at Mildenhall Branch and Trustee of the Greyhound Trust
The reason I began volunteering with the branch is that I had adopted 6 greyhounds over the years from the Mildenhall Branch and when I retired as a Local Authority Chief Executive I wanted to give something back to the branch that had provided me with such great pets over many years and suddenly I had the time available to help out.
The reason I became a Director/Trustee is that I felt that with my interest in greyhounds combined with my experience at the branch level, plus my employment background in the voluntary, private and public sectors at a reasonably senior level, I could potentially play a useful role in terms of the governance of the charity.
My role at the branch level is essentially one of supporting our amazing lead volunteer Ann Raymond, I help out with walking the dogs, meeting some of the potential adopters, keeping our branch records up to date on the ANILOG back office system, managing our branch email account, dealing with the transfer of microchips to the new owners and helping out when required on vet runs, with Facebook postings, picking up dogs from trainers and anything else that Ann asks me to do.
At the board level I attend all the board meetings and any sub groups where my expertise is thought to be helpful. I have also started to visit other branches between lockdowns although this has been very stop/start over the last year or so. I hope to do more of this as we move back towards some degree of normality. I should also like to visit some of the greyhound events as they start to get going again.
Of all the many dogs that we have been able to find homes for over the time I have been involved the one I was most pleased about was Fletch. He was with us for almost a year, he came to us after he had lived in a home for several months, he could be a bit grumpy, was unable to walk extended distances due to his past injuries, was less than keen on other dogs and did not like to be disturbed whilst sleeping. But for all that, he was a real favorite amongst volunteers and staff at the kennels. He loved to plod along for a short walk and lay out in the sun when the weather was good. Finding the right match for him was a real challenge but eventually Ann found a couple who could perfectly match his needs and he is now one very happy greyhound.
What I would say to anyone thinking of volunteering is that volunteering with the Greyhound Trust is incredibly rewarding, you meet some lovely dogs and the nicest people, and seeing a retired racing greyhound set off for it's forever home gives a great feeling of having helped to achieve something that is really worthwhile.
Photo: Ray Harding with Brayden, together with Mildenhall Branch lead volunteer Ann Raymond with Spence, two of our kennel dogs waiting for their new home.
Trustee of the Greyhound Trust
I have been the Honorary Treasurer on the Greyhound Trust Board since 2016. I volunteered for the role as I love all things to do with greyhounds and I wanted to find out more about the journey of the greyhound from track to their new homes after retiring. My memorable moments include attending the Great Global greyhound walk led by the Coventry branch of the Greyhound Trust with my greyhound Venus who is now 9. She loved being surrounded by other greyhounds and we were warmly welcomed.
Recently I visited the new National Greyhound Centre and I can’t wait for it to open. Exciting times ahead!
Photo: Jackie Dunn