Paws for a coffee and become a life-changing volunteer for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

12:46 16 May 2014

Tom Bysouth and Percy.

Tom Bysouth and Percy.


NatiNational charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People is seeking more volunteers to train their loveable puppies.

Kim Reed and Xander.Kim Reed and Xander.

The charity currently has over 800 working partnerships between deaf people and hearing dogs across the UK – and it is now hoping to attract more enthusiastic volunteers in the Saffron Walden area.

Tom Bysouth, the charity’s puppy trainer for Hertfordshire and west Essex, said: “We expanded the catchment area to include Saffron Walden and the surrounding villages last autumn and were delighted to recruit our first puppy socialisers. With the demand for Hearing Dogs increasing we are now hoping to attract further volunteers.”

Local organisers are inviting anyone who might be interested to join them for coffee and cake at Wimbish Village Hall next Friday (May 23), between 11am and 1pm, to have a chat and meet some of the puppies and their socialisers.

As well as full-time volunteers, hearing Dogs is also hoping to recruit people who would be able to provide cover for when socialisers go away on holiday.

Hearing dogs alert their owner to important household sounds and danger signals such as the alarm clock, doorbell and smoke alarm in the home, at work and in public buildings. And volunteer puppy socialisers play a vital role in the training of a hearing dog. They teach their puppy basic obedience skills while also introducing them to all the different people and environments they will need to become comfortable with in their future career as a hearing dog.

Puppies are placed with a volunteer socialiser at around eight weeks of age and will work with them at home for around a year. They then return to the charity for an 18-week advance sound work course at one of Hearing Dogs’ two national training centres before being matched with a deaf recipient.

Volunteers receive full financial support plus regular home visits from the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People puppy socialising training team. The charity also supplies all food, bedding, toys and equipment, as well as covering vet bills.

Volunteers should be at least 18-years-old, based at home for the majority of the day and be able to ensure that any potential puppy is not left alone on a frequent basis.

For information, visit or call 01844 348100.

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