TV presenter Ben Fogle will front a BBC Lifeline Appeal calling on viewers to raise funds for the national charity his father set up – Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
The charity trains dogs to alert deaf people to household sounds and danger signals such as the doorbell, telephone and smoke alarm – providing life-changing independence and confidence. Since its inception in 1982, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People has placed more than 1600 hearing dogs.
The programme will see Fogle visiting the Charity’s national centre in Buckinghamshire and will also feature the stories of two families whose lives have been changed by the placement of a hearing dog.
Viewers will meet severely deaf Sue Churchyard, 44, from Burgess Hill in Sussex. She said: “Because of Jasmine, I can get on with life and it means that the boys now have their freedom back.”
The programme will also tell the story of 11-year-old Poppy Nicholson, one of a dozen children in the UK whose lives have changed dramatically since being partnered with a hearing dog.
Poppy’s mother, Olivia, said: “As a family, we have seen a huge change in Poppy. Her confidence has sky-rocketed and we are so pleased to have Maddy in our lives”
Ben said: “This is a charity close to my heart. It was my father who helped found it when he realised that specially trained dogs could make a massive difference to those living with deafness.”
The Charity hopes that the BBC Lifeline Appeal will help raise the necessary funds to enable them to increase the number of hearing dogs that can be trained each year in order to meet the growing demand for its services.
The programme will air on Sunday 20 May, BBC One at 4.00pm. To donate to the BBC Lifeline Appeal for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, visit www.bbc.co.uk/lifeline.
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