Four-legged pals say thanks

Thomas Lankester
Thomas Lankester

A dedicated volunteer helping a charity supporting deaf people has been recognised for his loyalty.

The Hearing Dogs for Deaf People charity, based in Saunderton, announced Thomas Lankester as their Volunteer of the Month in recognition of his dedication and commitment to the dogs he helps.

Tom, from Princes Risborough, is a relatively new volunteer at the charity’s main training centre in Saunderton.

A previous dog owner, Thomas has been a volunteer dog walker for around 18 months, joining shortly after he moved into the area. Keen to meet people and enjoy exercise in the outdoors, he went along to the charity’s late summer show to find out more about volunteering with these clever dogs during their training.

Now, every Wednesday, Thomas arrives to walk four different dogs among the stunning 27-acre grounds of the Hearing Dogs HQ.

Jessie Messer-Stalbow, dog trainer says: “His friendly attitude and determination to take his four-legged friends out. whatever the weather, makes him the perfect man for the job. His hard work and cheerful personality have already made a big impression on both the staff, and more importantly, the dogs.

“Tom is one of our relatively newer dog walkers and I can’t remember him missing a slot since he has started. He is always really friendly and happy to come in and get stuck in straight away. He will religiously walk four dogs for half an hour each, come rain or shine! He has a lovely relationship with the dogs especially some of the ones he regularly walks, and they are always really happy to see him.

“We really appreciate the help Tom gives us on a Wednesday afternoon and the team all look forward to seeing him each week.”

Tom said: “I really enjoy the time I get to spend every Wednesday at Hearing Dogs. I love everything about it – the people, the beautiful setting, the walking and of course the dogs!”

The charity’s volunteering department can help answer any questions you might have about getting involved with this life-changing charity, in Buckinghamshire and beyond. The roles available vary hugely and there is something to suit everyone.

There is also the opportunity to sponsor a puppy.

Visit for details of volunteering and the charity’s work.