Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
I must be crazy to even think about entering the BUPA Great North Run, never mind taking part, but as a dedicated supporter of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People since 2003, I couldn’t refuse to take up the challenge but in my case I think it's going to be more of a run/walk/crawl just to get round the course.
I first learned about Hearing Dogs For Deaf People when I was given a copy of the Charity’s ‘Favour’ magazine which carried a story about a Sheltie named Jinty - winner of the Heroic Hearing Dog of the Year 2003 Award. Not only had Jinty helped her deaf owner cope with everyday life but had also alerted her to the plight of her elderly neighbour as he lay semi-conscious in the garden following a fall. One of the remarkable things about assistance dogs is their ability to modify what they have been taught and apply it to new situations. As far as her elderly neighbour was concerned, Jinty had saved his life.
Ever since then I have supported the Charity and the excellent work they do giving greater independence, confidence and security to deaf people by providing them with specially trained dogs to alert them to chosen everyday sounds in the home, workplace or public places. Anyone who has suffered from a hearing loss, or knows anyone who is deaf, will appreciate the feelings of isolation, insecurity and lack of confidence associated with the condition. Those affected often face problems with communication and speech, making it extremely difficult for them to interact with others which can lead to anxiety, depression and loneliness. Hearing dogs wear burgundy coats which help people in the community to understand that their owner is deaf, so not only does a hearing dog alert its owner to sounds but also helps to break down barriers and encourage communication when meeting other people, decreasing the feelings of social isolation and restoring confidence.