Date: 6 October 2009 Time: 6.30pm - 10.30pm Venue: The Vintners’ Hall, Upper Thames Street, London EC4V 3BG
The annual Hearing Dog of the Year Awards this year will be held at the beautiful and historic Vintners Hall in London on 9 October. These awards celebrate the work of hearing dogs across the country, and the dogs are nominated by their deaf owners. This is the sixth year the awards have been held.
There are three categories for which working hearing dogs are nominated:
Rescue Hearing Dog: For dogs which were selected from a rescue or rehoming centre (former strays, abandoned pups or unwanted pets that were gifted in to rescue centres). The judges are looking for what makes him or her so special to their deaf owners demonstrating the dog’s ability to overcome their traumatic start in life.
Heroic Hearing Dog: Any situations where the hearing dog has either saved the recipient’s life or someone else’s; acted above and beyond the call of duty; or potentially averted a tricky or dangerous situation.
Life-Changing: This is a very personal experience for the deaf person, to think about what their life was like before they had their hearing dog and how that hearing dog has impacted on their life. Most of the entries for this category are unbelievably moving and ultimately heartwarming.
Each of the three categories is being judged by a celebrity, who has been given a shortlist decided by Hearing Dogs staff, from which they have to choose a winner and two runners-up. The Rescue category is being judged by Pam St Clement from BBC’s EastEnders; Heroic category is being judged by Anton du Beke from BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing; and the Life-Changing category is being judged by Martin Clunes from ITV’s Doc Martin.
Guests at the evening will be able to see short films about the three finalists in each category before the winner is announced. Alongside this there will be an opportunity for the guests to take part in a raffle and a silent auction.
In addition to the presentation of the Hearing Dog of the Year Awards, there will be the announcement of the annual Volunteer of the Year Award winner with the presentation being made by TV celebrity Esther Rantzen, who gives this award in honour of her late husband Desmond Wilcox. This award is to celebrate the unsung work of the Charity’s volunteers. Staff and other volunteers nominate those they think have had an enormous impact on Hearing Dogs whether it be through fundraising, puppy socialising, giving talks or general help.
Tickets for the event are available: £200 per ticket or £2000 for a table of ten. There is also an opportunity for organisations to sponsor one of the awards, a table or even the event itself.