Volunteer Branch Coordinators
Meet Catherine Birch, our new Adelaide Coordinator
When Catherine saw Delta was looking for a local branch coordinator in Adelaide, she knew the role was perfect for her. Catherine explains ‘I have friends who are either elderly or unwell and being able to assist people who are out of their own homes and needing some "normality" seemed perfect. I love people and working with volunteers is a happy fit. I also have a strong belief in the human-animal bond. I have a fur baby called Basil, who is such a joy in my life and a real blessing’.
Being a psychic card reader, Catherine is now intent on using her powers to ‘Deltafy’ Adelaide! She hopes to expand the number of health facilities so that all current volunteers are happily placed and more people get the benefits of pet therapy.
Meet Margot Logan, Brisbane Coordinator
Brisbane Branch Coordinator, Margot first heard about Delta through two friends who were current volunteers. This sparked her interest in volunteering with her dog, Sonnet. However, it wasn’t until she met some other Delta volunteers who came to visit her mum in hospital and rehabilitation facilities over her 4 month stay, that spurred her on.
Margot and her beautiful golden retriever, Sonnet passed the Delta temperament test and started visiting Princess Alexandra Hospital in 2015. When the Branch Coordinator role came up, Margot thought this was a great opportunity to provide a community service and be able to assist the program utilising her skills.
Margot has been very busy increasing awareness of Brisbane therapy dogs and has increased therapy dog numbers to service current and new facilities.
Meet Wendy Groot, our new Hobart Coordinator
Wendy first heard about Delta Therapy Dogs when she was working with the Dogs Homes of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Prison and Youth Detention Centre.
She absolutely loves dogs and was looking for a volunteer position as her companion dog of 17 years had just died. The nature of her current employment makes it hard to have another dog. However, during her dogs lifetime she learnt what a big difference her dog had made to a number of people they visited.
She is enthusiastic to develop the Hobart branch and to recruit more Delta teams to meeting the growing requests for placements. Did you know that Tasmania has the largest number of dog owners across Australia? There’s definitely great potential for growth there! Best of luck Wendy, we look forward to hearing about the Hobart branch developments.
Meet Anne Connolly, our new Cairns Coordinator
Anne stumbled upon Delta whilst at a Sydney dog park with her Maltese x Lhasa Apso, Bandit. One of our therapy dogs, Blue was being incredibly tolerant of Bandit trying to 'herd' him. His beautiful nature made Anne approach the owner & ask "What did you do to make Blue so amazing?" Blue’s friendly owner, Martine told Anne all about his work as a Delta Therapy dog. As soon as she got home, Anne visited the Delta Society website & signed up!
Anne & Bandit spent over a year visiting patients at Concord Hospital in Sydney before she relocated to Cairns. She wanted to continue visiting with Bandit but there wasn't much happening in far north Queensland. Disappointed, she looked around the Delta website some more & found the coordinator role being advertised. With her sales background it seemed a good fit and the right match.
Anne knows the many benefits of pet therapy and is determined to create a successful therapy dog community in Cairns. She is busy talking to health facilities about the positive impact of therapy dogs and concentrating on the upcoming assessment day. With her best assistant recruiter, Bandit we’re sure she will do a great job!
Meet Kerry Byers, our new ACT Branch Coordinator
Kerry and her Golden Retriever, Fred joined Delta after an incident with a special needs school. Kerry explained “My son is a disability support worker in a special needs school. Fred & I were invited to undertake a classroom visit. He was so gentle and calm with the kids and it was so clear just how much they got from having him there. I found Delta and it was a perfect volunteering match for me!
Kerry and her husband Dave share their home with some four-legged companions “Fred, our 8 year old Golden Retriever is our Delta Therapy dog. We've had him for three years and he is such a calm and well-mannered boy. Georgie, is a 6 month old terrier X and a new addition to our family from ACT Rescue and Foster. We are learning a lot about the joys of small dogs and she is becoming a lovely, social girl. We also have a grumpy cat called Tabasco, who has a real dislike for me but adores my husband Dave. She was also a rescue animal and was only 4 weeks old when we got her. In spite of my getting up during the night to feed her every 4 hours and basically being her mum when she was little, her favourite thing to do is to sit on Dave's lap and plot my downfall”.
Kerry is excited about the ACT branch coordinator role and says “The role has just the right amount of people contact with volunteers and liaising with facilities. Best of all is that I get to meet some lovely people and their pups”.
Delta is lucky to have amazing ACT volunteers and with the help of Kerry we hope to continue to grow the branch. Kerry’s plans for her branch include “some regrouping and reconnecting among volunteers, after not having a local coordinator for a little while. I look forward to bringing some more facilities into the Delta program and introducing some regular fundraising and social events as well”.
Sounds great to us! We look forward to working with Kerry and helping her develop the ACT branch.