Ben Fogle is appointed a Patron of Hearing Dogs

Posted by Sarah O'Brien

To launch Deaf Awareness Week 2017, we are delighted to announce Ben Fogle as a Patron of Hearing Dogs. We chat to Ben about deafness, loneliness and his love of Labs...

Ben Fogle has been a supporter of Hearing Dogs for, well, almost his whole life! The Charity was co-founded by his father Dr Bruce Fogle 35 years ago, which kick-started a transformation in the lives of thousands of deaf people in the UK.

The announcement comes ahead of Deaf Awareness Week (15-21 May) as the dog-loving adventurer helps us to launch our ‘Deafness doesn’t have to be lonely’ campaign - which highlights the positive impact that hearing dogs have on the wellbeing of their deaf recipients, meaning deafness isn’t such a lonely experience.

This is what our hearing dog recipients say

In our survey of recipients* who have benefitted from a hearing dog,


have more confidence


feel more secure


were better able to make new friends


feel more approachable

*(Hearing Dogs recipient survey 2012)

Perhaps no other form of hearing loss assistance has such a profound effect on a deaf person’s life; from alerting to important sounds and danger signals that can’t be heard, providing invaluable companionship and being an important visual indicator of an otherwise invisible disability when in public.

A hearing dog offers warm, loving, sensitive and loyal assistance creating the kind of life-enriching partnership not possible from a technological gadget. Our dogs have reduced feelings of loneliness, isolation, anxiety and stress and restored independence, confidence and self-esteem.

Ben Fogle says:

“I’ve grown up as part of the Hearing Dogs family, so for me to now take on this official role for the Charity my father co-founded is a huge honour. Through his work, I’ve seen at first-hand how devastating the effects of deafness can be.

“Loneliness and isolation, sometimes driven by embarrassment, lack of self-confidence and self- esteem, can really reduce the quality of life for many deaf people who are left feeling cut off from the world, school, work, friends and family – and can often become quite depressed.

“I’ve met and spoken with many recipients who have told me their hearing dog has quite literally given them their life back; their independence, self-confidence and self-esteem restored and once again happy and enjoying life in a way they never thought possible. And that’s all thanks to these very special little canine hearing dog heroes who have taken away the loneliness of deafness and replaced it with a friendship beyond measure.”

We'd like to send a huge thanks to our new Patron Ben Fogle for supporting us!

How you can help deaf people

Here are three ways you can help deaf people to feel less lonely during Deaf Awareness Week and into the future.


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About the author

blog hearing dogs

Hi everyone! I'm Sarah, digital content officer for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. I manage the Charity's social media, blog and e-newsletter and help with promoting digital campaigns. I'm obsessed with dogs, tea and reading (in that order). 

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