Volunteer at the Chiswick House Dog Show

Chiswick House Dog Show is back, having been cancelled last year because of the pandemic. It’s a really fun day out, whether you’re a dog owner or not; about as far away from Crufts as it’s possible to imagine while still being a dog show.

The show class online registration has just opened, entry £4 per class. They are also looking for volunteers. Caroline Starkey explains what’s involved.

Image: Judges at a previous Chiswick House Dog Show – Ant McPartlin, Diane Weston and Michael Ball judging My Dog’s got Talent

Join ‘the Pack’

Caroline Starkey

You may be surprised to learn that Chiswick House Dog Show is one of the biggest, if not the biggest dog show in London. Amazingly, it is entirely run by volunteers, known fondly as ‘the Pack’.

We need around 150 volunteers, which equates to about 600 hours of help on the day itself.  Most volunteers contribute two hours each, though many more stay longer – some for the full 12 hours from setting up the show at 7.00 am to dismantling it and picking up all the litter by 7.00 pm.

We need help in six main areas:

Setting up the show 7-10.30am: managing traffic – 50+ vehicles on to the cricket pitch and off safely and parking; setting up gazebos, moving tables, chairs and fences; erecting signs and flags and setting out recycling and litter bins.

Class Registration 9am-3.30pm– desk work surrounded by dogs! Assisting with application forms; taking cash/touch/card for the application fee – £4 per dog per class: handing out and assisting with number labels* for the dogs and wrist bands for the owners. This year we are encouraging Online Registration at www.chiswickhousedogshow.org.uk/class-registration for a Quick Checkin for the first timewell.

*Staffing the Competition Rings 10.45am-3.45pm: Stewarding the competing dogs and their owners into, around and out of the Rings; running the results back to Gill Thomas on the Announcer’s Desk; handing out the ‘Well Done’ rosettes.

Image: Devid Tenant judging the fancy dress competition at a previous Chiswick House Dog Show 

Stewarding the show 10am-6pm: Meeting and greeting; handing out information sheets; collecting donations*; helping with questions; keeping dog bowls filled; managing the litter and recycling bins (protection provided).

Setting up, serving at, and dismantling the Bar 10am-3.45pm: managing stocks and ice buckets and the barrel; serving soft drinks, Borough wines and Twickenham Ales. (Over 25yrs only)

Helping in the Pavilion 10.50am-3.30pm: with results and prizes and the Green Room.

And last but not least:

Dismantling the Show: 3.45-6.30pm:  Dismantling Rings and gazebos; returning equipment to the Pavilion; clearing the pitch of litter; removing signs; shepherding guests from the pitch and keeping people off it while traffic is on the pitch; directing traffic from carpark, onto the Cricket Pitch and out again.

*Roles suitable for young volunteers over 9 yrs

** Roles suitable for younger volunteers with supervising adult (‘younger volunteers’ are under 16 or equivalent maturity)

Image above: Previous winner of ‘Best in Show’

All volunteers will be encouraged to use sanitiser and masks. Hi Viz vests are provided for all Ring and Stewarding staff and are obligatory at Set Up and when dismantling the show.

Please do come and join us by signing up on our website.

Caroline Starkey is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Chiswick House Dog Show


Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick Book Festival, 9-15 September 2021

See also: Artists At Home, 17-19 September 2021

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