Meet our Volunteers: David, Avril and Chris11 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!
David Keitch and Avril Fletcher
Registered Volunteers at the Honiton Branch
We love volunteering for the trust as it allows us to put something back, and make a difference. Once involved with greyhounds you tend to fall in love with the breed, and volunteering for the trust gives the opportunity to ensure the dogs can enjoy a happy retirement in a loving home.
David has come from a history in the racing industry and Avril just fell for the greyhounds once she and David got together about 13 years ago.
Our role involves carrying out Home checks, transporting dogs from other branches and trainers, delivering dogs occasionally, giving talks to groups to promote the work of the trust and manning the Greyhound Trust stand at the local agricultural shows here in the southwest.
Several stories about our time as volunteers spring to mind for example our sadly departed bitch Sophie (a great ambassador for the trust) has done everything she can to embarrass us in many situations! For example a few years ago at the Yeovil Agricultural Show, a gentleman approached us and asked if we had lost one of our dogs. A quick check revealed it was Sophie who was missing and the gentleman invited us to follow him. We trailed him to his stand, which was selling bespoke wooden dog kennels, and there was Sophie happily asleep in one of his products!
Another time we were helping with a street collection in Exeter and David was explaining the homing process to a lady when he became aware that Sophie was pulling on her lead. He looked down and to his horror the dog had nosed into the ladies shopping bag and helped herself to a dried pig's ear, a treat for her own dog! I offered to retrieve the pig’s ear and was extremely relieved when the lady laughed and said "it's ok, she can have it for her ingenuity".
Another time we went along to a greyhound meet and greet get together, run by another charity, and we were walking around the hall chatting to old acquaintances when Sophie (who else) decided to squat on a bed that was for sale. We assume she was testing its waterproof qualities!
If I was talking to someone who might be thinking of volunteering I would just say that it is one of the most rewarding things you can do. The delight of meeting the dogs and helping them on their journey to retirement is priceless.
To sum up, we love volunteering and we have made so many friends during our time with the trust who we keep in touch with mainly through social media.
Avril Fletcher from the Honiton Branch
Volunteer at West Yorkshire Branch
I volunteer because I have great affection for greyhounds having two myself. As I'm retired I have the time and inclination to work for the good of greyhounds.
My role involves helping out at nearly all branch functions and fostering dogs as and when needed. I've fostered around fifteen greyhounds so far and they have been a pleasure to look after, with some staying for a few weeks and some for longer.
One greyhound, Sid, sticks out in my mind. He appeared to have had a poor life and was always happy to come back home after trips out - he felt that he had a home. When he went to his forever home, he was sick on the journey there and sick when he arrived. He has now settled in nicely, I am pleased to say.
If you're thinking of volunteering, then do give it a try. You will find a lot of dogs happy to see you and I think you would find it a positive experience.
Chris at West Yorkshire Branch of the Greyhound Trust