The Foundation Team Volunteer at Guide Dogs UK

All the Matthew Good Foundation staff and reps recently met up for their annual meeting. Not only was this a chance to review the Foundation’s 2019 activities and plan for 2020, but it was also a chance for many of us meet and get to know each other for the first time, all whilst taking part in a volunteering activity.


The meeting was held at the Guide Dogs National Breeding Centre in Leamington Spa. We chose to have the meeting at Leamington Spa due to its central location so that as many of us as possible could get there and back in a day, and also chose the charity as our venue so that our valuable Foundation funds went to a good cause.

We spent the morning volunteering at the grounds of the centre, and then we spent the afternoon in their conference room discussing lots of ideas for 2020.

Morning – Volunteering in the grounds

As part of the Foundation’s role is to encourage volunteering throughout the John Good Group – we thought it only right that some volunteering was built into our programme for the day. The site manager had gathered all the tools and mulch needed to refresh the reception border – but now they just needed somebody to do the work!

We all grabbed our tools and got straight to work on the tough job of digging and weeding – it snowed at one point, but we carried on anyway! Once that was done, it wasn’t long before a chain was formed of mulch being ferried around, thrown into place and spread over the bed.

The before and after shots of the border show what a great difference you can make with a couple of hours and some good teamwork!

A final treat…

As a final treat, after our meeting, the staff at the centre gave us a tour of the grounds, where we got to meet one of the breeding dogs, and see the facilities where the puppies were being cared for. On the tour, we discovered that it takes nearly £60,000 to provide one person with a guide dog and that 9/10 workers for the charity are volunteers. This really highlighted how important it is that people like us help out in the small ways we can, whether it be volunteering in the grounds, or choosing to use their conference facilities for a meeting.