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Heroic hearing dogs recognised at national awards

09 October, 2017
Specsavers founder and Hearing Dogs patron Dame Mary Perkins accompanies one of the winners
Specsavers founder and Hearing Dogs patron Dame Mary Perkins accompanies one of the winners

A host of exceptional hearing dogs were recognised for their inspirational impact at the Hearing Dogs Awards sponsored by Specsavers on Thursday 28 September.

The remarkable dogs and their deaf owners were presented with their awards by HRH The Princess Royal, in front of a glittering celebrity crowd.

Life-changing bond

The annual national awards showcase the amazing and life-changing bond between the dogs and their owners. TV presenter Rachel Riley hosted the ceremony with a number of the charity’s celebrity supporters attending, including Penny Lancaster, Johnny Vaughan, and Ben Fogle.

Amongst the winners was Varley, who received the Young Partnership of the Year award for bringing security, friendship, and an end to sleepless nights and isolation to his eleven-year-old deaf owner Daniel Jillings from Lowestoft, Suffolk.

Daniel’s mum Anne said: 'Daniel previously suffered terrible nights with a sense of isolation and a debilitating fear of going to bed alone in the family house.

'He used to get very scared at night when everyone else was downstairs, but from the moment we had Varley, things changed. Within days, he was sleeping properly.'

On Varley receiving the award Daniel said: 'It was really exciting to meet HRH The Princess Royal, as I have never met a member of the royal family. I am so thankful for everything Varley and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People have given me.'

Transforming lives

Rachel Riley, who is herself a dog owner and passionate supporter of Hearing Dogs, said: 'Being involved in this year’s Hearing Dogs Awards has been incredibly emotional and heart-warming. 

'The ways in which hearing dogs transform the lives of their deaf recipients is incredible; from alerting to important sounds hearing people often take for granted, through to giving someone the confidence to leave their home. Each story is testament to how hearing dogs all over the UK are making a profound difference to the lives of their deaf recipients.'

The Charity’s Chief Executive, Michele Jennings, said: 'We are always so humbled by the stories we hear during the nomination process. It’s a great opportunity to applaud individuals and their canine friends for the way in which they live their lives together as part of a very special partnership.'

More about the charity 

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year with over 900 hearing dogs currently transforming the lives of their deaf recipients around the UK. 

Find your nearest Specsavers Audiologists