National Volunteer Week 2024: Positively impacting lives as a volunteer dog walker

Yarra City Council
A volunteer dog walker with a dog

Volunteers are the heartbeat of our community, providing essential support and enriching the lives of those around them. As we celebrate National Volunteer Week (20 to 26 May), we’re shining a spotlight on the remarkable volunteers of Yarra and their invaluable contributions.

There truly is something for everyone in the world of volunteering, and we hope these stories inspire you to explore the many volunteer opportunities available in Yarra.

Kate’s Story

Every Tuesday, Kate hits the streets of Fitzroy with Billie the fox terrier as part of Yarra’s Companion Animal Support Program. Designed to support elderly and/or disabled Yarra residents, the program pairs volunteers with furry companions for leisurely strolls.

What made you want to volunteer?

“I was looking at doing some volunteering, but I work full time, so I didn’t want to over commit. I saw this ad in Yarra News for an hour a week and thought that’s perfect.”

What do you love about volunteering for Yarra’s Companion Animal Support Program?

For Kate, one of the best parts of volunteering is the simple joy of getting out and about.

“It gets me out of the house and gets me walking – which is nice. Plus, Billie’s super friendly and loves other dogs.”

Kate’s walks with Billie extend beyond the wagging tails and fresh air; they have also nurtured social connections. Through their walks, Kate has formed a genuine friendship with Billie’s owner. “She’s a lovely lady and she really appreciates having someone to help with Billie”.

What has volunteering brought to your life?

“It’s really rewarding, knowing I’m helping Billie’s owner.”

Reflecting on her volunteering experience, Kate emphasised the fulfilment it brings. “It’s nice to help people – it makes you feel good.”

Any advice for people looking to volunteer?

“If you have the ability to, I think it’s 100 percent something people should do.”

“You could sit inside doom scrolling on your phone or you could go out and do something nice for someone else. And it makes you feel good too!”

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