Special dogs that can change a person's life

Hillingdon Times: Hearing Dogs was launched at Crufts 30 years ago Hearing Dogs was launched at Crufts 30 years ago

HEARING Dogs for Deaf People are looking for kind-hearted people willing to volunteer at community fund-raising events.

Georgia Romeril, volunteer recruitment coordinator, said: “Volunteering is fun, sociable and rewarding, and not only changes the lives of hearing dog recipients, but can also be life-changing for the volunteers themselves.”

Hearing Dogs was launched at Crufts dog show in 1982 and has the Princess Royal as royal patron.

Since then, 1,600 partnerships between deaf people and hearing dogs have been created, with currently more than 750 operating.

The charity trains dogs to support deaf people and, with more than 10 million people in the UK suffering from hearing loss, demand for the dogs is higher than ever.

The charity has 1,600 volunteers and receives no government funding, relying solely on fund-raising and donations.

It can take up to 18 months to fully train a dog and costs around £45,000 for the breeding, training, placement and life-long care of each hearing dog.

Sapedeh Mohamaddi, of Uxbridge, has a seven-year-old daughter, Sarah, who received the life-changing gift of a hearing dog.

Before young Sarah met her toy poodle, Waffle, she was too frightened to be alone at night.

“Since Waffle came into our lives, I have seen first-hand how much difference a hearing dog can make,” said her mother.

There is a presentation for anyone interested in Hearing Dogs at Oak Farm Library, Hillingdon, tomorrow (Friday) at 11:30am and on Thursday, May 1, at10:45am. To find out more about Hearing Dogs for Deaf People visit www.hearingdogs.org.uk

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