Two dog-lovers who have dedicated their retirement to fostering support dogs have been given an award.
Former teachers Syd and Liz Moyle, who first became fosterer carers for national Sheffield-based charity Support Dogs.ten years ago, have been named as Volunteers of the Year.
Over the years the couple, who previously won the charity’s Foster Carers of the Year award, have taken care of more than 20 pooches.
Liz, aged 68, said: “We have always been dog-lovers and had border collies for 30 years but our previous dog had just died and we didn’t want the commitment of looking after another one full-time.
“So becoming foster carers for a succession of lovely, and largely well-trained, dogs made perfect sense.”
Support Dogs trains life-changing assistance dogs for people with autism, epilepsy and physical disability.
Syd and Liz, from Rotherham, first offered to provide emergency care for dogs in need of short-term care, but they formed special bonds with a number of their four-legged friends and took on dozens of trainee dogs for anything for overnight to three month stays.
They now follow the dogs careers as qualified assistance dogs, including Willow/Star, who became a gentle autism assistance dog for Sheffield youngster Sam Mills after being sponsored by donations from Star readers.
Syd and Liz have also supported the charity in other ways, from fundraising at the annual Bark in the Park and other events, to carrying out bucket collections at supermarket collections.
They have also asked friends and family for donations to Support Dogs for their birthdays and anniversaries.
Liz said: “We always carry leaflets, the charity’s magazine Aura, water and a lead in the boot of our car in case anyone wants to know about Support Dogs.
“When we take the dogs out for walks lots of people know us and that we’re volunteers for the charity because we’re always trying to spread the word.
“We love volunteering for Support Dogs. We’ve had so many dogs to loveover the years, and it’s a small charity that is so deserving of support.”
Syd, aged 74, added: “If we're available, we’ll do it.”
Visit www.supportdogs.org.uk for more information.