Celebrating National Volunteer Week

June 04, 2024
3-year volunteer group photo with Ambassador Dog Vanda

To celebrate National Volunteer Week, Guide Dogs Queensland had the privilege of hosting our annual Volunteer Morning Tea event. This year’s theme, “Something for everyone,” truly resonated with the spirit of our incredible volunteers at Guide Dogs Queensland. We gathered to express our deep appreciation for the dedication and the vital role each of our volunteers play in our organisation mission.

The event featured engaging activities, including a fantastic Guide Dog and Client Service demonstration. We also took the opportunity to recognise volunteers who have reached significant milestones, celebrating their unwavering commitment to Guide Dogs. This especially extends to those who have accomplished 10, 15 or 20 years of volunteering for Guide Dogs.

Brisbane local, Pat Collins is one of six volunteers who are celebrating 20 years of dedicated volunteering service with Guide Dogs. Over the course of that time, Pat has supported Guide Dogs in a wide range of roles from running merchandise stalls at Queensland Rail stations and shopping centres across Brisbane, to supporting Guide Dogs at various community events, Pat has seen and done it all!

“Volunteering for Guide Dogs has been such a fulfilling and rewarding experience and it has given me a real sense of purpose,” Pat said.

“For me, it’s about the connections I’ve made these past 20 years and knowing I am giving back to the community in a real and tangible way that goes towards helping people who really need it,” she said.

For experienced Puppy Raiser, Lara Hudson, the opportunity to contribute to a potential Guide Dog’s journey was a big part of why she signed up to volunteer four years ago.

“It is so exciting to watch these amazing pups grow and learn new skills and to think how one day they will go on to potentially change someone’s life for the better,” Lara said.

“As a Puppy Raiser, you are fully supported along the way plus you get the opportunity to join a big family of volunteers where you can socialise, make new friendships, and learn from one another. It’s a wonderful thing to give back to the community and know you are playing a role in this Guide Dog’s journey,” she said.

CEO of Guide Dogs Queensland Mr Beveridge said Guide Dogs Queensland were currently seeking compassionate and dedicated Brisbane residents who are willing to play an essential role in nurturing and training the next generation of Guide Dogs.

“There is no question that without the support of our generous volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to deliver the wide range of services that we do as the Queensland Government’s Peak Body for vision impairment,” he said. “Right now we are seeking to recruit a new generation of Puppy Raisers as we prepare for approximately 40 puppies about to be born over the next several weeks,”.

“Volunteering as a Puppy Raiser is a special opportunity to have a hand in giving a pup the best possible start on their journey to becoming a life-changing Guide Dog,” Mr Beveridge said.

A highlight of the morning was unveiling the new Volunteer Honour Roll, a permanent tribute to our dedicated volunteers, who have truly become family to us here at Guide Dogs. This honour roll will soon be displayed in tribute at our Bald Hills campus to appropriately acknowledge this special group of long-term volunteers.

Dorothy O’Brien, Fay Gourlay, Karen Carter, and Leigh Daunt are all a part of the Bribie Island community and have all dedicated 20 years of service to Guide Dogs, each offering their unique contributions. Karen Carter explained, “being part of this group has been an honour. It’s not just about the tasks we perform; it’s about the bonds we’ve forged and the lives we’ve impacted along the way.”

To all our volunteers, thank you for your selflessness, compassion and dedication. Your efforts certainly don’t go unnoticed. Your support and enthusiasm ensure that we continue to build a brighter, more inclusive community together.


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