Merlin’s great mission to raise thousands for charity

Pictured at the Merlin's Mission Hearing Dogs for the Blind presentation of certificates are John Mallindine and Poppy, Matt Lucas and Yasmin, Pauline Shepherd and Merlin, Andrew Panton, Bill King. Photo by John Crossland,
Pictured at the Merlin's Mission Hearing Dogs for the Blind presentation of certificates are John Mallindine and Poppy, Matt Lucas and Yasmin, Pauline Shepherd and Merlin, Andrew Panton, Bill King. Photo by John Crossland,

A DEDICATED dog is hoping to raise thousands for charity though a series of fantastic fund rasing missions and help from the community.

Merlin, a 13-year-old springer spaniel, charity ambassador, is hanging up is lead this year, but not before he enjoys his final mission which will see him raise funds for his charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

Organisers at the charity wanted to give Merlin an appropriate send off, and after seeing him pictured in an iconic photo while at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, the idea of Merlin’s Mission was born.

“He was pictured with the Lancaster ‘Just Jane’ at a 1940s event held at the Lincolnshire Aviation Centre in East Kirkby and he looked fantastic.

“Merlin is retiring from demonstration work at the end of this year, and we had been trying to think of a way of giving him a really good send off into retirement, as he has been such a superstar fund raiser for us,” said the charity’s Denise Taylor.

“When the idea of Merlin’s Mission was born, we then had to decide what the mission should be. This year is the charity’s 30th anniversary year, so we decided that the mission would be to raise £30,000 for the charity in its anniversary year.”

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People is a charity that selects and trains dogs to respond to specific sounds.

The charity receives no government or lottery funding and it costs £7,500 to socialise and train a dog to the stage where it can be placed with its recipient.

Over £30,000 is needed to maintain that partnership throughout the working life of the dog.

The charity decided that the aviation centre and particularly the Panton family, had been so supportive by allowing fund raising activities at major events, that they should be the first to receive a limited edition certificate saying thank you for their help.

A certificate was presented last Friday, by Merlin and the charity’s deputy chief executive Bill King and the community can help Merlin by holding fund raising events themselves.

Some have already held wear your own clothes days called Merlin’s Mufti Day and Munches for Merlin bake sales.

For more details visit www.merlinsmission.org or call Denise Taylor on 01572 767515.