Volunteer Guide Dog Fosterer

Atherton and surrounding areas
Unpaid Voluntary Role, Expenses Covered
03 Feb 2022
31 Jul 2022
Animal, Disability
Hours per month
Over 40 hours
Long Term

As a Fosterer you will provide care and accommodation for a guide dog whilst they undergo their training, this is usually for 16-26 weeks. Fosterers are responsible for the care of the dog on evenings and weekends and for ensuring they attend their training sessions Monday-Friday. You must be over 18 to apply, however having children under 18 will not exclude you from becoming a Fosterer.

We are looking for Fosterers in Atherton and surrounding areas (Wigan, Bolton, Salford and Bury).

What you’ll be doing:

  • Dropping off the dog for training at the Atherton Centre between approximately 7:30-9am and pick up 4:30-6pm. Times will be discussed at interview.
  • Provide a welcoming and safe environment for a dog for the time required, 16-26 weeks. Providing a consistent home is particularly important for our dogs in training.
  • Ensuring the dog is fed and exercised as directed.
  • Embedding the same behaviour and commands as your supervisor.
  • In the event of an emergency, ensuring the dog receives veterinary care and Guide Dogs is informed immediately.

Ideally you will: 

  • Have your own home or written permission to have a dog in the home.
  • Have suitable accommodation and a secure outdoor area.
  • Have a car and be able meet daily pick up and drop off requirements.
  • Enjoy working with dogs.
  • Be physically able to handle large breed dogs (around 25-40kg).
  • Able to follow all training and welfare guidelines provided by Guide Dogs.

If you don’t feel you tick every box but are keen to get involved, please contact us for a chat. We are open to suggestions where possible or may be able to suggest an alternative position.

You’ll Get:

  • The satisfaction in knowing you are supporting people with sight loss to live actively, independently, and well.
  • The opportunity to care for and have the companionship of a dog for evenings and weekends.
  • The challenge and reward of seeing a guide dog develop in your home.
  • The opportunity to learn and develop your understanding in dog body language, learning theory, the human animal bond and the life of a guide dog.
  • Any pre-agreed expenses related to your volunteering with us in line with our policy. Volunteering for Guide Dogs should never leave you out of pocket.

Training and Support:

At Guide Dogs we recently achieved the Investing in Volunteers certification which means we take volunteering seriously and offer a great level of support and invest in our volunteer’s success. You will have a dedicated volunteer manager/key contact who will help you settle in and support you during your time with us.

This role has 6-8 hours of mandatory training, these modules include:

  • Essential Dog Knowledge.
  • Essential Dog Handling.
  • Dog Welfare and Training Techniques.
  • Ongoing training both virtually and face to face as part of the role.

If you have questions about the training requirements, we can answer these at your interview along with any other support or accessibility needs you may have.

Application Instructions:

  • You can apply for this volunteer role directly via the Guide Dogs website.
  • The application form should take around 10 minutes
  • You will need details of two suitable referees:
  • who have known you for 2 years or more,
  • are not related to you,
  • do not live at the same address as you.

Once complete, a member of the team will be in touch to discuss your application with you and your suitability for the role.

If you would like to get a bit more information before applying please email anna.lucey@guidedogs.org.uk.

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