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Community connections during National Volunteer Week

in Latest News, Stories of Independence

Last month we celebrated National Volunteer Week. It was a chance for us to say thank you to all the wonderful volunteers that help us do the work we do. During this year’s National Volunteer week, the Glenorchy City Council held their 2020 volunteer awards online. Acknowledging Glenorchy residents for their passion and dedication to volunteering.

Our very own Monica Lockley was awarded for over 1000 hours of volunteering services and commitment to the community.

7 people taking 7 dogs for a walk on the beach
Monica, (second from left) on a training walk with the southern Puppy Raisers

Monica is a valued volunteer and mentor for the southern Puppy Raisers either via phone or by in person support. She organises catch-ups, annual get-togethers and offers extra hours of support within the Guide Dogs office.

She aids other local volunteers with their pups and meets them for training walks. Monica is the current boarder of the Guide Dogs Ambassador Dog, Murphy, taking him to events often out of hours.

Woman holding a Guide Dog puppy
Monica with Guide Dog puppy Harmony

A knock on the door

At present Monica is ringing Puppy Raisers a couple of times a week, to offer support during the COVID-19 lock down. She is keeping in touch with those living on their own or finding it tough in isolation.

‘As you know we are all working from home. I got a knock on the door from the postman, and was handed a large envelope from Glenorchy City Council and thought gosh! They must want a LOT of information this year for dog registration,’ Monica explained.

‘I was so stunned when I opened the envelope!’

Long history of volunteering

‘Over what sometimes feels like a thousand years, I have done so much voluntary work for Schools, Dominic College and St Virgil’s College, and yes, I did get recognised with gifts like St Virgil’s College Wine Glasses with the school coat of arms. I was the only volunteer to get the complete set of 6 in one assembly! I worked tirelessly for Junior Soccer over 5 years. Even when my son had moved on from the Juniors, I was still arranging for goal posts to go in at the grounds, typing up rosters, working in the canteen and again, I am sure that someone said “thank you”.

Image of a woman holding a puppy
Monica with Guide Dog Murphy when he was a pup.

’12 years ago, I started volunteer puppy raising for Guide Dogs Tasmania, and I knew straight away that this was for me!  To be able to look after such beautiful dogs has always felt a privilege. Learning so much from first Dan English and then Kim Ryan my main mentor.  I loved the dogs greatly. I even had confidence to talk to television reporters when called upon, or basically do anything that the Guide Dog staff required, thanks to the bundle of fur that was always beside me. What a life changer!’

Chance to do what you love!

‘I was then given the greatest honour 3 years ago when asked to work for Guide Dogs.’

‘When I opened the envelope from the Glenorchy City Council, I thought “What am I being recognised for?” I felt a little guilty as I now have a dream job with Guide Dogs Tasmania. Any extra time that I give to their program I love! I should not get recognised for just doing what I love.’

Recognition

‘Thank you to Elizabeth Barnes (CEO) who sent a personal email of congratulations.  When I linked in to the Glenorchy City Council’s Award Ceremony on Facebook this year (due to COVID-19), I was even more stunned when my work colleagues sent messages of congratulations as my award was read by the Mayor.’

Being recognised by my peers and workmates is possibly the greatest honour that I could receive. I am very grateful and humbled to be rewarded for doing something that I love so very much.  Thank you to all who helped with this award, it was a true shock but such a privilege to receive.

Monica Lockley – Puppy Raiser.
4 women sitting on a bench at the beach with 4 Guide Dogs
Monica on the far right with other Puppy Raisers.

If you are thinking of volunteering, we would love to hear from you! Perhaps you too would like to be a Guide Dogs Tasmania Puppy Raiser?