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Becoming a Burns By Your Side Volunteer

Reading Dogs in Schools

Becoming a By Your Side Volunteer

Could you and your dog spare a few hours each month to visit a local school to help improve children’s literacy and confidence? We are looking for some very special volunteers.

‘Burns by Your Side’ will give you and your dog the opportunity to become a trained volunteer team. Working alongside your dog, you will visit a local school for a few hours each month.

This valuable service will help children with their reading as well as building confidence and well being with children that have special nurturing needs. You need to be over 18 and have an obedient, gentle and well behaved dog that is more than 18 months old and has lived with you for at least a year.

Full training for you and your dog, on-going support and travelling expenses will be offered to assistance teams that pass the assessment process.

For those that need more training or support we have dedicated BBYS dog training partners that can help.

Volunteer Benefits

  • The opportunity to become a volunteer for the Burns ‘By Your Side’ scheme, helping to make a difference to the lives of schoolchildren across areas of Wales and Ireland.


  • To enjoy valuable experience for both you and your dog and to learn new skills.


  • To make new friends and contacts and be part of a close working team that feels like a very special family.


  • A smart branded uniform for you and your dog.


  • Reimbursement of local travel expenses and for training and development days.


  • BBYS placement, full training, volunteer policies, insurance cover and DBS checking.


  • To volunteer for a charitable trust founded by Burns Pet Nutrition LTD.
Roles and Responsibilities

  • Help build and maintain a consistent relationship with a local school/s in your area.
  • Make regular visits to read with children in a classroom environment or within nurturing groups to offer a learning support visit.
  • Ensure at all times that you are working within the parameters of the Burns ‘By Your Side’ procedures and policies, and safeguarding the welfare of children.
  • Be committed to the welfare of your dog and make sure your pet is happy and comfortable at all times.
  • Provide valuable feedback for the development of the scheme.
  • Act appropriately within a school environment.

Get in touch

For more information on our Burns By Your Side Reading Dogs Scheme please get in touch.

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