Charity: What is the best way to support a charity with your dog?
I am feeling guilty. I had signed up to take part in the ‘Midnight Moo‘ tonight, walking 10 miles around MK city centre, starting at midnight. This event is to raise money for the wonderful Willen Hospice. I think hospices are great places and try to support my local one whenever I can.
However, I am not doing the walk tonight. My reasons are:
- Why would I go for a walk without my 5 dogs?
- I don’t want to walk around the city streets when I could walk up and down the river, between our two beautiful lakes – Willen and Caldecotte?
- Why would I walk around during the middle of the night, when it’s dark?
- I have a dodgy knee, which gets painful when I walk
Why do we do things for charity?
Shame on me. But it’s made me reflect on charitable endeavours and why we do these. I love to support and donate to charity and will donate for other people. I will give money at coffee mornings. It is great that people run marathons, jump out of planes, climb mountains and cycle huge distances, raising money for charity while they’re at it.
Which comes first, the desire to do something extreme or the desire to raise money? Why do the two have to go together? If you want to do something anyway, to push yourself, then surely it’s OK to just do it? If you want people to donate money to a particular charity, can you ‘just ask’?
Maybe it’s better if you’ve had to sweat. Perhaps if I made myself stay up all night that would make people think I deserved to receive donations for the charity? Walking 10 miles is not that hard for me – I walk 3-4 miles every single day, plus all the running around I do at training.
What I do for charity
I volunteer: I have been a school governor for over 15 years, in 4 schools. During this time I have spent hundreds of hours in meetings and committees, as well as going into school for many other activities.
I have also been a volunteer with Busy for the last three years. We started off doing this through Pets as Therapy, but have recently changed charity, to Canine Concern. I have been really impressed with the welcome I have had from this charity and the friendly ethos they have.
Canine Concern was formed in 1988 by Eve Waring, who had seen how important dog visits were to the elderly and lonely. Eve believed in reaching out to people through their dogs. She wanted to make the group friendly and supportive of each other as well as to the people, young and old, that we visited. Canine Concern was, is and always will be the organisation that cares for people as well as dogs.
Busy’s work in schools
For the last three years Busy and I have been visiting our local junior school. We spend two hours per week seeing four groups of children aged 7-11. Busy lies down in the middle of the group, or moves around so that everyone has a chance to pet her and engage with her.
We focus on conversation, developing social and listening skills, for children with a wide range of needs. Some struggle to pay attention to others, or they may find it hard to sit still. Many of the children are lacking in confidence and find the time spent with the dog incredibly rewarding. The school have found the impact of Busy’s visits has been far reaching. Oh and by the way, I taught Busy to read!
One of the less well recognised benefits of the visits is that the staff interact with her. I see that teaching and support staff all light up when she arrives and if they can sneak in a cuddle, they do! I think that having the dog in school is a great ‘stress buster’ for everyone and I know that the staff member I work with sees it as the highlight of her week!
New areas of work
I am also incredibly proud that Charlotte and Bea, Luna’s daughter, will also be starting to visit their local primary school, from September! Bea will be excellent in schools; she has the same lovely temperament of both her parents.
I started to do assessments of volunteers and their dogs earlier this year and am proud to carry on with this with Canine Concern. I am also going to be taking on the role of Area Coordinator for the charity, helping to bring the volunteers together and provide them with support.
If you have enjoyed reading about the volunteering I do with Busy, why not get involved? You can:
- Promote the charity to your family and friends
Thank you for your support. Please CONTACT ME me if you would like to know more?
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