Causeway Volunteer Centre has been working with Assistance Dogs NI (ADNI) over the last year to develop best practice in volunteering.
ADNI trains and provides assistance dogs to improve the quality of life for children with Autism and people with mobility issues.
Autism Assistance Dogs have been shown to improve safety levels, promote positive changes in behaviour and reduce stress in children. Disability Assistance Dogs have been trained to open and close doors, switch off lights and even load the washing machine!
They need volunteers willing to help train assistance dogs. Geraldine McGaughey, CEO and Project Coordinator said: “Volunteers are the backbone of our charity, without them there would be NO assistance dogs.
“They currently have 30 volunteers on board doing all different types of roles from the management committee to temporary dog foster carers for when people are off. The two main roles they have for people are: Dog Foster Carer Volunteer and Fundraiser.
“A Dog Foster Carer volunteer will receive a puppy home for approximately 14 months, giving it all the experiences to start off on the road to becoming an Assistance Dog.
“You will need to take the puppy to weekly training classes, introducing them to many different new sights, smells and sounds as possible. Fostering a puppy is a very rewarding role, however it requires hard work and commitment to follow through on tasks learned during the weekly training sessions. All costs relating to the puppy fostering are paid for by the Charity including food and vet bills.
“ADNI receives no government funding therefore we need fundraising volunteers.
“A volunteer findraiser’s role would be to help with one-off or regular fundraising and awareness events and activities, for example, attending local bag packs, selling charity goods, giving out info leaflets.
“You would need to have good people skills, and the flexibility to volunteers evenings or weekends.”
If you want to get involved with this organisation please get in touch with the Causeway Volunteer Centre by calling 028 703 58285 or logging on to email@example.com.