The Great British Dog Walk
Tuesday 6 September 2022
Dog lovers across London are being encouraged to put on their walking shoes and get outside with their pets to help raise money to improve the lives of deaf people.
The Great British Dog Walk, sponsored by Specsavers, and organised by the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People charity is hosting a range of events across the region.
On the day there will be a short and long-distance route of either three or five kilometres for dog owners to enjoy with their pets. In fact, everyone is being encouraged to take part, whether they have a dog or not, with each walker receiving a special activity-filled pack to enjoy along the way.
It costs £40,000 to fully train and support a hearing dog which helps to alert deaf children and adults to important and life-saving sounds. These dogs also play an essential role in helping to combat any loneliness their owners may experience. All of the money raised during the event will go towards this vital life enhancing and changing initiative.
Tickets cost £12 on the day or £10 online, while children under 16 can attend for free. Ticket cost includes a free dog bandana, walker certificate and an activity pack to take on your walk which can be done at a designated area or virtually.
There are 12 million people in the UK with hearing loss. More deaf people need help than ever before. By walking the Great British Dog Walk, people can help change the lives of deaf people like Joanna.
Joanna Jones, who has a hearing dog, said: ‘My hearing dog Marshall has made a huge difference to my life. Deafness isn’t an obvious disability but Marshall’s burgundy jacket indicates my hearing loss and this gives me confidence. Before I would avoid talking to people but now I’m far less anxious about not understanding people.
Marshall offers peace of mind to my family as well. Before I was partnered with Marshall, I was often home alone. One night the smoke detector went off and I didn’t hear it. Luckily one of our daughters happened to be staying, so she was able to wake me. It showed us how vulnerable I was to danger. Now they don’t worry as they trust Marshall to alert me.
I find walking Marshall helps me reconnect with people and the world around me, which is why I love the Great British Dog Walk. Walkers will raise money to ensure more people like me will be partnered with a hearing dog who will help them to leave loneliness behind and reconnect with life.’
Emma Walker, Specsavers Audiology Divisional Chair for Greater London adds: ‘The Great British Dog Walk is an excellent way for people to have fun, get some exercise, meet like-minded people and perhaps most importantly, meet lots of cute dogs while supporting a good cause.
‘If every person who walked the Great British Dog Walk raised just £10 above the cost of their event ticket by getting themselves or their dog sponsored, the charity could fully train another dog to alert deaf people to important and life-saving sounds.
‘We’re so proud of our involvement in the Great British Dog Walk and we’re looking forward to taking part in this event.’
For more information or to sign up to the walk visit www.greatbritishdogwalk.org or to book an appointment at Specsavers, you can find your nearest store here.