A Trip to 'Greyhounds as Pets'
Our Community Services client, Ellie, was supported by Maddison, one of our wonderful DSPs to attend Greyhounds as Pets in Londonderry for a trial run for volunteering on a regular basis.
Greyhounds as Pets is a company that works with retired race greyhounds or greyhounds that don’t qualify to race. They work with the dogs to bring them up to adoption standard. Maddison organised a trial for Ellie to become a volunteer, as she loves animals. Maddison supported Ellie to the property where they met Jess, the volunteer coordinator, who outlined some of the rules and requirements for volunteering.
Jess showed Ellie and Maddison around the kennels and where to find different materials that were needed when caring for the greyhounds - such as treats, collars, leads and toys. During this time, Ellie spoke directly to Jess, with Maddison only assisting with communication when required. Jess showed Ellie how to put the collar on the greyhounds and showed her where to walk and play with the dogs. Once Ellie was confident in walking the greyhounds, she walked a number of dogs. Ellie needed very little hand-over-hand support (although the collars can be tricky) and very little verbal prompting. She really enjoy the experience, smiling ear to ear the whole time.
On the drive back to home, Maddison asked Ellie if she would like to continue to attend as a volunteer through and she said “yes”! This volunteering experience as part of our Community Services, works on supporting Ellie to get out into the community and build relationships with community members on a regular basis. It also helps Ellie achieve her goals of working on her health and well-being.