Well-known Banbury volunteer honoured with award for his ‘incredible contributions to fundraising and community building'

It is for his work with sight loss charity Guide Dogs

By Phil Hibble
Monday, 4th July 2022, 9:53 am
Updated Monday, 4th July 2022, 9:54 am
Brian Baker at Armed Forces Day
Brian Baker at Armed Forces Day

A well-known volunteer from Banbury has been honoured with an award for his work with sight loss charity Guide Dogs.

Brian Baker received the Lead-by-Example award for his 'incredible contributions to fundraising and community building' with the charity.

He has been the co-ordinator for the Guide Dogs Banbury fundraising group for nearly 10 years, helping to build the group from the ground up.

Brian Baker receives the Lead-by-Example award for his 'incredible contributions to fundraising and community building' with the charity.

His nomination, made by fellow fundraiser Sandy Williams and community fundraising relationship manager Mireille Haviland, read: “He leads by example because his energy and enthusiasm never fail to mobilise those around him. He has created way more than a fundraising group – he has created an amazing family of volunteers who care about each other, support each other, and raise funds for Guide Dogs as well as eating cake and drinking coffee.”

Being a guide dog owner himself, he has had an ambassador by his side for many years. However Brian’s guide dog, Wicksy - and friendly face in the community - sadly passed away this year.

“He wasn’t shy! He was actually a bit mischievous,” Brian said. “He turned my life around. I couldn’t have asked for a better companion.”

Wicksie was always along for the ride with fundraising, and Brian gives him the credit for most of the funds they raised together over the years.

The Banbury Fundraising Group have continued to raise funds for Guide Dogs since his passing, but they are in need of additional fundraisers to join them.

Volunteering coordinator Erin Storr said: “Volunteering brings so many benefits to your local community and the people you are helping, but can also be an incredibly rewarding experience for yourself.

“In many roles you have the chance to use experience, gain new skills and knowledge, get to know other people, and make new friends.

“Our fundraising groups are very friendly and welcoming and a great way to meet local people and make a positive difference to the lives of people who are blind or partially sighted.”

To find out more contact Erin Storr, at [email protected], call 0800 781 1444 or visit www.guidedogs.org.uk/volunteering