Join David as a member of Support Dogs’ board of trustees

A love of dogs and a background in multi-million-pound project delivery are behind one man’s drive to help a charity to fulfil its potential.
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David Hobson from Misson is chair of the board of trustees at the national Support Dogs charity. It is a voluntary role at the charity which is dedicated to improving and saving the lives of people living with a range of health conditions.

The Sheffield-based worthy cause provides and trains autism assistance dogs to help autistic children, seizure alert dogs to help people with epilepsy and disability assistance dogs to help people with a physical disability to live safer, more independent lives.

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The charity is looking for new trustees to join its board. Trustees are volunteers who provide governance and contribute to Support Dogs’ strategic future.

Join David as a member of Support Dogs’ board of trustees.Join David as a member of Support Dogs’ board of trustees.
Join David as a member of Support Dogs’ board of trustees.

Those with experience in charity or business operations, governance/fundraising, finance or expertise in autism, epilepsy or disability are particularly sought.

David joined the board in 2018, and brings with him 40 years of experience in the quantity surveyor, construction and project management field.

He recalls Keith Williams, the charity’s treasurer, sitting between himself and Mary Broadhead, now board vice-chair, in a curry house and Keith trying to persuade the pair to get involved.

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David, who has two labradors, Ted and Harry who turn 14 and eight in March respectively, said: “I’ve worked for big companies but for the latter 20 years, worked for myself, with my partner.

“I started to think about winding down and wanted to give something back.

“Support Dogs’ autism assistance programme is just amazing – having children and now grandchildren of my own, I realise how important a child’s early years are and the role these dogs play is incredible.

“With the seizure alert dogs, they are magic – I think it’s wonderful that they can guarantee those minutes of detecting a seizure up to an hour before it happens.”

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David says he is honoured to have helped the charity to make more efficiencies and increase value for money.

“I’m very proud to be a trustee,” added the 68-year-old.

“I think the work the charity does is exceptional, but out of the thousands who apply for help, we can still only help a small percentage due to our limited resources.

“If I can do something that means we can increase the numbers we support two or three times over before I leave as a trustee, I will be pleased that I have got out more than I put in.”

Since David joined, Support Dogs has grown to support clients across the UK, not just in Sheffield.

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Trustees can be based anywhere in the UK and are required to attend quarterly meetings, as well as the occasional ‘extraordinary’ meeting and up to two annual away days. They are expected to read documents ahead of meetings.

Good communications skills, the ability to understand budgets and financial spreadsheets and an understanding of good charity governance are among the skills required.

All trustee roles are voluntary and unpaid, although expenses incurred in fulfilling duties will be reimbursed.

Anyone considering a trustee role is asked to submit an up-to-date CV and expression of interest covering letter (no more than one side of A4) by email to Support Dogs’ chief executive Rita Howson at [email protected] by 5pm on Monday, March 4.

To receive a trustee recruitment pack, please email [email protected]

To find out more about Support Dogs, please visit

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