Chatteris volunteers represent Hearing Dog charity at Buckingham Palace Garden Party

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Two volunteers from the Cambridgeshire branch of national charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People were among those invited by King Charles III to the first Royal Garden Party, since his Coronation, on Wednesday 8 May.

Deborah and John Maloney, from Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, were nominated to attend the event by the charity’s Chief Executive Officer in recognition of the dedication they have shown the charity over the past 17 years.

Speaking about their day, the couple said that it had been an honour to represent Hearing Dogs for Deaf People at the event. “We were presented to HRH the Princess Royal, who has been the charity’s Royal Patron since 1992. She was very interested to hear about Waldo, the Hearing Dog puppy we are currently training”, said Deborah.

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“She said she thought it must be difficult to hand a pup back at the end of its training, but that she completely understood how they change the lives of their deaf partners.”

Chatteris volunteers attend Royal Garden PartyChatteris volunteers attend Royal Garden Party
Chatteris volunteers attend Royal Garden Party

Around 8,000 people were in attendance for the Garden Party which took place on a sunny afternoon at Buckingham Palace. King Charles was accompanied by Queen Camilla, and the couple were joined by HRH The Princess Royal, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.

In a letter to the couple, confirming their invitation to the event, Victoria Leedham, Head of Volunteering for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for being such long-standing, accomplished and ever-helpful volunteers. We are hugely grateful for all your hard work, and have been so humbled by the commitment you have shown to your hearing dog puppy Waldo this year.

“Volunteers such as yourselves put in so much hard work behind the scenes, and I hope that being asked to attend this event is an indication of just how much the commitment you have shown to the charity is seen and appreciated by us, and by the deaf partners we support.”

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Hearing Dogs for Deaf People has an urgent need for volunteer puppy trainers in the Cambridgeshire area. Anyone interested in finding out more can visit the charity’s website or connect with its Volunteering team via email: [email protected] or by calling 01844 438129."