Make a racket and help train a hearing dog puppy

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HEARING Dogs for Deaf People is calling in children to make a racket and raise money to help train a hearing dog puppy.

Encouraging schools and youth groups across the country to get involved, the money raised will help create life-changing partnerships between hearing dogs and deaf children.

Backed by TV presenter Esther Rantzen, the ‘Let’s hear it for deaf children’ campaign asks youngsters across the UK to hold sponsored noise events as well as also giving them the chance to learn more about hearing loss.

‘Let’s hear it for deaf children’ takes place between 14-18 May and ties in the with the charity’s 30th year birthday celebrations which kicked off in March.

It follows on from recent findings released by the Charity which showed that its pioneering placement of 12 hearing dogs with deaf children had – over a 12-month period – reduced parents’ worries by nearly 40 per cent.

It’s hoped that hundreds of youth groups across the UK will take part in ‘Let’s hear it for deaf children’ and ultimately help to fund future partnerships between deaf people and hearing dogs. Each partnership currently costs around £45,000 to create.

Kids that sign up to the event will receive an information pack – featuring Kurt, the real-life hearing dog of 11-year-old James Cheung from Derbyshire – giving a range of fundraising ideas, including making special ‘pupcakes’.

In addition, groups will be encouraged to find out more about hearing loss with activities including the chance to learn basic British Sign Language (BSL).

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, said: “We are encouraging schools and youth clubs as well as Brownie and Cub groups across the country to sign up to this exciting activity, have lots of fun and in the process raise valuable funds to help change lives.

“Our pilot study with deaf children over the past several years has been hugely successful with parents reporting to us a range of positive benefits, so we are keen to extend this programme to more deaf children whose lives could be changed thanks to the placement of a hearing dog.”

Hearing dogs are trained to alert their deaf recipient to a range of sounds both at home and in public. Sounds include the alarm clock, the doorbell, the cooker timer and smoke alarm. In public sounds include the fire alarm.

Since 1982, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People has created over 1,600 partnerships giving deaf people renewed independence, confidence and companionship. Hearing dogs can also help to remove some of the isolation, loneliness and anxiety that deafness can often bring.

The charity is a non-government funded organisation and relies on the support of the public.

To receive your free ‘Let’s hear it for deaf children’ fundraising event pack, go to: www.letshearit.org.uk, email: kurt@letshearit.org.uk or call 01844-348100.