Blind Foundation in need of helpers
By SVEN HERSELMAN If there is a need and you are able to help why wouldn’t you?
That is the mantra behind the volunteers of the Marlborough Members Support Group who give their time for the Blind Foundation.
They help with things like driving blind foundation members, fostering seeing eye dogs until they are old enough to start training, or just ringing up members for a chat.
One volunteer, Sue Binnie has been giving her time as a puppy walker for the past 12 years. Although the title sounds like she just takes the pup out for odd walk it actually entails caring for it for a year.
‘‘The idea is that I take the puppy with me wherever I go to get it used to all sorts of social situations, because that is what it would do when it becomes a guide dog,’’ Sue says.
She takes the pup she is caring for to the movies, restaurants, to town for shopping or just the park to interact with other people and dogs.
Ron Mills has been volunteering his time as a driver for the past eight years. Before that he drove for the Red Cross for 14 years doing meals on wheels deliveries.
Although well into his retirement years himself, Ron feels if he can help out then he will.
‘‘You meet some interesting people Golden hearts: Members of the Marlborough Members Support Group for the Blind Foundation, Ron Mills, left, Sue Binnie, Liz Norton and Dawn Morris. They and other group volunteers were treated to a lunch last week to thank them for their service. and make some good friends. I still stay in touch with some of the people I used to deliver meals to when I was with the Red Cross,’’ Ron says.
Marlborough Members Support Group secretary Ann Cook says the service the volunteers provide is invaluable. Drivers are entitled to claim back for the petrol they use but none of them ever do, she says.
‘‘We have wonderful volunteers. We are a bit short of drivers and are always keen for more volunteers,’’ Ann says.
To get involved contact Ann on 03 577 6818.