Puppies will be trained as a vital lifeline for deaf people thanks to more than £1,000 raised by Lincolnshire Co-op shoppers.
The local branch of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People was nominated as a Community Champion for Lincolnshire food stores in Kirton Lindsey, Caistor and Coniston Avenue in Grimsby.
The scheme sees every dividend card holder linked to a good cause close to where they live. Each time they shop, a donation goes to that group. The charity received £1,093 – enough to train at least two dogs to help a local who is profoundly deaf.
Hearing Dogs Volunteer and recipient Christine Barnett says her dog Saxon, which she has had for seven years, helps her feel safe and secure at home.
“Saxon alerts me to sounds like the doorbell, my alarm clock or the phone. He is taught not to bark but to put his paw on my knee or nudge me with his nose.”
Hearing dogs first train as a puppy with a socialiser who takes them on trains, buses and into shops and banks to get them used to it. Then they go to the ‘big kennels’ to spend 3-5 months learning sounds and signs before being matched with a recipient. The charity then looks after them for life visiting regularly and sorting out any problems.
From coming into care as a puppy to retiring, it costs around £45,000 per dog.
“I think the Community Champions scheme is really super. I’m a volunteer speaker and the most I earn is £30 and it takes a lot of £30s to train even one dog,” Christine said.