1. What is Merlin’s Mission?
Whilst Merlin was appearing at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre last year he had his picture taken with the Lancaster ‘Just Jane’ and Merlin’s Mission was born…..
Merlin is an ambassador dog for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and he is on a special mission during 2012, together with his dedicated crew members, helping to raise £30,000, for the Charity during their special 30th anniversary year.
Merlin’s work as an ambassador dog involves showing how a hearing dog helps deaf people through informative and fun demonstrations at events, and fundraising with his special collection bucket. Helping Merlin achieve his mission really will help change the lives of deaf people including children.
2. You’ve been supporting Hearing Dogs for a number of years. Thank you. Why did you start supporting us?
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People provides a unique way to help deaf people and as Merlin’s PA I have been a registered speaker and fundraiser for a number of years helping to make a difference to deaf people’s lives. Over the years I have met and worked with some wonderful recipients and just seeing how much independence, confidence, and companionship these dogs provide keeps me going with my fundraising events and raising awareness at my talks. Now that Hearing Dogs have introduced Hearing Dogs for Children it has given me, Merlin, and his crew the incentive to celebrate the charity's 30th anniversary with Merlin’s Mission, helping to train more dogs for children as well as adults. Merlin is retiring at the end of the year so I can’t think of a better way to finish his career as an ambassador for the charity!
3. What events have you got planned and where can people see Merlin?
Merlin’s website – www.merlinsmission.org – has an ‘events’ page which details all the information about the events that Merlin is attending, together with details on events where his Hearing Dog K9 crew members are attending on his behalf. This page is updated constantly, as new requests come in almost daily from shows, fetes, garden parties etc in the East Midlands area requesting our attendance. Merlin and his crew were back at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre over the Jubilee weekend, and are also attending The Lincolnshire Show in June for the first time. There are lots more events in the pipeline, some of which are Air shows and 1940’s weekends, keeping the theme of the Lancaster ‘Just Jane’ alive. The RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is supporting Merlin Mission this year and will be inviting him and his crew to attend some of their special events with them. They are also helping him to produce a calendar, featuring Merlin with their iconic aircraft, so as you can imagine, we are all very excited. Keep checking the events page on his website to find out more.
4. How much have you raised so far?
To date, mid June, Merlin and his crew have raised £14,525.02 which is a staggering 48% of his target! He still has a long way to go, so keep supporting Merlin and donating whenever you can. Merlin has a dedicated Just Giving page on his website which is a secure & safe way to give your donation which goes straight to Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. You can also donate by text MERL99 followed by amount to 70070, again this will go straight to Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
5. How can people find out more and get involved?
The easiest way to find out more about Merlin, his mission, and his crew is to visit his website www.merlinsmission.org where you can also watch ‘Merlin the Movie’. You can also follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/merlinsmission, he is always happy to have a chat and he keeps everyone updated on what he is getting up to!
His website has a dedicated ‘how to help’ page which is packed full of ideas of how you can get involved and support him. Another way is to join his ‘Ground Crew’ and hold an event on his behalf which can be anywhere in the UK: perhaps a dog show, open gardens, garden fete or fancy dress party. How about a ‘Munchies for Merlin’ holding a coffee morning for him, inviting your neighbours and friends round for coffee and cakes and charge a small fee, or hold a dinner party or afternoon tea? All the information you need, and downloadable forms to assist you, are on the ‘how to help’ page of his website. Your event can be advertised on his website, and if you let him know the outcome and send a picture, you will appear on his ‘Roll of Honour’ page!