03/06/2019 - Permalink

Blog: Joanne Hughes talks about her volunteering work

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To celebrate Volunteers Week we are publishing a series of stories from the public and staff who volunteer across the county.

Today (Monday 3 June 2019) Joanne Hughes, who works in our waste management team, tell us about her volunteering work.

I started volunteering as a dog walker for the RSPCA as I love dogs and it was a way to interact with them without ownership responsibility. Also, rescue dogs need a bit of extra TLC while they are in kennels as they’d prefer to be in their ‘furever home’ with their human, so I’m giving back some of the love that dogs give to us so unconditionally. The RSPCA staff are most grateful for any help in caring for the dogs too.

Then the opportunity to volunteer through work as a sighted guide appeared on the staff intranet and I thought what a great idea to learn a new skill that I can use in other settings and also do my bit for the community.

Joanne Hughes

Joanne Hughes

The training was brilliant and opened my eyes (forgive the pun) to a whole new world that I knew nothing about. The first event that I volunteered to guide blind people was the See Hear Exhibition at Shrewsbury Sports Village on 15 May 2019 which was very rewarding. I met many brave and inspiring blind and partially-sighted people who do not let their disability impede their daily life, and was able to help them find more support and aids from the many exhibitors that attended. I also met many dedicated and amazing volunteers who give their time to help others selflessly and with great enthusiasm.

With the knowledge gained from learning to be a sighted guide, I can now use this in clubs and groups that I am a member of, or in public places as I now recognise the ‘mercy sign’ of a blind person who requires assistance.

Volunteering is a win-win situation for both the person volunteering and the recipient of the help in whatever form it takes. I would highly recommend everyone considers volunteering for the personal and community benefits.