AS Therapy are extremely lucky to have dozens of Voluntary Area Co-ordinators
throughout the U.K. who do a wonderful and very valuable job. Their remit
is to welcome new volunteers to the Charity, help volunteers to find establishments
to visit and often accompany them on an initial visit. They also keep
a record of every volunteer and visit establishments within their area
and also a list of any establishments that are waiting for PAT dogs or
cats to visit.
dogs Joss and Robbie owned by retiring Pets As Therapy area co-ordinator
often they organise fund raising and promotional events and if they are
registered Pets As Therapy Temperament Assessors, then they also take
this task on board too.
Area Co-ordinator is often the first point of contact for new volunteers
and the help Pets As Therapy receive from this fantastic group of people
is very much appreciated by the charity. I recently attended a meeting,
here in the North of England, where Area Co-ordinators from several regions
got together to discuss their role within the charity. The enthusiasm
at that meeting was a force to be reckoned with. It really did go to show
that PAT volunteers not only love to visit in the Hospitals and Residential
homes etc. but they also like to be involved in the charity in as many
ways as possible.
Wakefield area have, for many years had a very efficient co-ordinator,
Marjorie Crofts. However, Marjorie has recently had to retire, although
she is still continuing visits to several hospitals, homes and day centres
with her PAT dogs Joss and Robbie. Marjorie's son Paul Clayton is one
of our team of Temperament Assessors and his work with the charity is
to continue. We offer huge thanks for all the years of service and a very
long and happy retirement to Marjorie.
I write this column I have just heard the very sad news of the death of
the PAT Area Co-ordinator for south Oldham, Dave Thomas. Dave and his
wife Heather, have been PAT volunteers for many years and for a long time
Dave was the only Area Co-ordinator we had in the whole of the Greater
Manchester area. David took the task in his stride and always with great
enthusiasm. In later years we did manage to organise other co-ordinators
within this area which meant that David's area was much more manageable.
Always ready to promote the charity Dave was often out and about with
his two PAT dogs Barney and Venn, either collecting or giving talks which
were very much in demand. I always knew it was Dave on the telephone as
soon as I heard him. He had, what I can only describe as a voice like
dark brown velvet. David died after fighting his illness so bravely in
the Royal Oldham Hospital, the establishment that he had visited with
his PAT dogs for so many years. I understand that just hours before his
death he was himself visited by PAT volunteers Ron & Shirley Davies and
Mary Harrison, accompanied, of course, by their PAT dogs. Dave had contact
with the charity that became such a huge part of his life, right to the
end. He will be sadly missed by Pets As Therapy. Our hearts and our thoughts
are with Heather at this sad time.