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On Friday 16th April, 2010 many Mark Masons from Somerset met at the Webbington Hotel to join Provincial Grand Master David Nelson when he formally presented a cheque for £10,000 to Mrs Marilyn Sydenham from the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. Also present was Spice, a King Charles spaniel with her owner Stella. Marilyn presented a photograph of the first dog to be financed by this donation, Flynn, a Bichon Frise, who will go to a lady in Yeovil area, when he has completed his training.
When thanking the Masons for their donation, Marilyn said that the £10,000 would provide and train two dogs for Somerset people. The trained dogs re-open a deaf persons’ world by being able to show its owner that all manner of everyday events are happening. A paw on the arm when the telephone is ringing, two paws when the alarm clock goes off in the morning. The ways in which the dog can draw attention to the everyday events we take for granted are endless. The Hearing dogs also accompany their owners on shopping trips where they can warn of fire alarms in shops, traffic crossing signals, oncoming traffic and other everyday hazards. The money raised by the Mark Masons of Somerset had already been forwarded to Mrs Sydenham as a matter of urgency to prevent any hold-up in their dedicated work. The £10,000 has been raised from the generosity of Somerset Mark Masons in less than 8 months.
The Hearing Dogs for the Deaf is a little known but remarkable charity, which has caught the imagination, hearts and minds of us all here in Somerset. This wonderful caring charity is providing a service to our community and has trained over 1,500 dogs since 1982. Many of the Dogs come from rescue centres and they are always matched to their new owners.
For more information on hearing dogs please visit www.hearingdogs.org.uk