Guide Dogs Fundraising Workshop

Last week I got an email from my rehab worker asking me if I wanted to head to a fundraising workshop for Guide Dogs on the 5th April (today). I said that it would probably be alot of sitting around, but decided to go anyway just for the craic. Plus we were meeting up with two other fundraising branches as well as our own.

So at about 20 past 8 this morning, my rehab worker came to collect me. There were two other members who came too. I was the only guide dog owner going though.

We were off to the lovely
Tower Hotel
In Derry.

When we first arrived, I wanted to spend Ushi since it was such a long journey. Unfortunately, the area we found to spend her was up a rather grassy slope. I didn’t wonder too far with her, and she just didn’t seem interested, so we headed into the hotel. When I was taking her to spend, I didn’t have her harness on, so she was kind of rushing quite a bit.

When we arrived in the hotel, there was a guide dog owner from the “Maidin City” branch waiting at reception. (I don’t know why it was called that). Anyway he had a big german sheperd dog called Innis. (I thought when he said what it was called that it was “Alice” lol). He did a big big massive Woof! to say hi. Ushi then saw another two guide dog owners, and got a wee bit excited. We sat down shortly after that.

We were in a big massive room, which was good. I think it was a conference room or something. The dogs had loads and loads of room which was good.

At about half 10, the workshop started. First of all, we did introductions, and then the fundraising manager for Northern Ireland who was running the workshop started to talk.

First of all, we were asked to produce a “CV” of all our skills as a branch. This sounded quite hard, but once we got into it, it was grand. We then gave feedback and each ggroup read out what skills they had.

Next, we were given a sinarrio to work with. We were branch organisers, and we were organising a collection in “Anytown”. We first had to decide what risks there could be with a collection, then how to prevent the risks from happening.

It all seemed like common sense things, like making sure that if there was a guide dog owner collecting, that they were always with someone else, that people collected in a busy place to avoid anything bad happening, that every hour or two the dog and owner were given a break (Our table were the only ones who came up with this one), that the money was collected each hour, that there were at least two people in a designated place such as a church hall counting money at one time, where to store the money after collection etc. It was quite interesting. We learned that dogs need at least a half an hour break as collecting is quite hard on the dog, and can be quite stressful for them.

We then had feedback on that, then we had to fill in a pretend form for planning an event and budgeting it. Our table chose to do a coffee morning. (these weren’t real events). We were joined by another person from the Derry branch as well as us three from our branch. Apparently when we are planning an event, we can only use a hundred £ from our branch, and if it is over that, we can ask our fundraising coordinator for £500, and if it is something really big like a Ball or something, then the fundraising coordinator and manager have to apply to head office over in England or something.

We then learned about targets for different events. This was something called a “business forecast” or something. This was to plan out a budget for the year or something. We only did a bit of that, then it was lunch.

Lunch was a buffet. I had cocktail sausages and chicken thingies. I later found out that they were wings, which would explain the big bones in them! During lunch, my rehab worker took Ushi out for a pee break, which thankfully she did go which was good. During lunch also, we played “Card Bingo”. This is where you get a pack of cards, and whoever has one card left wins. You can use any cards, and you charge for each packet of cards. Obviously we didn’t charge. Apparently it can make a good 4 or 500£ extra!

After lunch, it was back to the “business forecast” thing again.

Afterwards, it was just answering questions, and then what we do with the money when we get it which was what we covered before in the risk assessment thing.

We headed home after that.

Ushi was far more behaved than I expected her to be. She spent most of it sleeping! When she did get up, she just sat around and looked all over the place. She did try to say hi to some other guide dogs, but she wasn’t that excited since we were away from the nearest one. At one point she was lying under the table, but kept trying to slide further and further in, so I had to get someone sitting opposite me to take her lead and bring her round to be again lol.

When we were heading to the car, Ushi really rushed, so we had to keep slowing down. I think she was dying to go to the loo though, so I suppose it can be forgiven. For some reason she did a big busy even though she had done one this morning! Maybe all that sitting around got her going lol. At least she didn’t do it inside which is good.

She has been konked out ever since. She got up for her food, but headed back to bed shortly afterwards. I didn’t work her today though cause I had a feeling she just wouldn’t work lol.

It deffinetly wasn’t as boring as I expected!

Oh by the way, i’m still looking for a team for
The Pub Quizz
On Thursday. If I can’t get a team, then I don’t think i’ll be going :(. Will let you know though!

3 Comments on “Guide Dogs Fundraising Workshop”

  1. Jen says:

    Brian was at Garton with me but didn't bring Ennis. He's one big dog though!I probably knew the other Derry people there.Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Torie says:

    Awww how did you know I was talking about Brian lol! I wouldn't like a german sheperd lol. There was a girl called Bernadette, but can't remember her guide dog, and a girl called Jenny who had a dog called Jumble I think. Is Derry called the maden city or something then?Xxx

  3. Jen says:

    I know all the GDOs in Derry and I doubt there's any other Enniss' in Northern Ireland.Yeah Derrys called the maiden city apparently, not that anyone from there really calls it that.

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