A nine-strong team from RS Components (RS), has raised £7,395 for the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People charity, after taking to the water with one of the biggest shark collections in Europe.
The fundraiser took place in the Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port, Liverpool, with participants from RS branches or offices including Corby.
In the half-hour long challenge, the team faced swimming among uncaged sharks as large as 10ft and weighing up to 350lbs, as well as a variety of other sea life including rays, turtles and tropical fish.
RS has supported this cause since 2001 and more recently through the RS My Community initiative.
This event also had support from many businesses in the form of donations of raffle prizes, including Vision Express in Corby, Leicester City Football Club, Nene Valley Railway and Corby International Pool.
Barbara Algeo, committee member of My Community and Internal Communications Executive at RS, said: “It was quite scary ‘swimming’ with sharks to start with, but we knew we were doing it for a great cause.
“We had support in the pool from some very reassuring people who gave us belief that we could do it.
“It made me realise that confidence is something I often take for granted, but is one of the things deaf people can struggle with.
“One of the benefits hearing dogs bring to deaf people is the confidence to be more independent, and we were all proud to have raised a significant amount of money that will go towards training another of these clever dogs.”
Hearing dog owners June Bray and Janis Hooley brought dogs Rosie and Biba to the event to show their support and appreciation for the team’s efforts. Janis said: “We had a lovely afternoon and I would like to add my personal appreciation for the time and effort of the RS team in supporting hearing dogs and ensuring people like me have the opportunity to have life changing partners like Biba.”
Vicky Ryan at Hearing Dogs for Deaf People added: “With no government funding, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People relies on fundraising support such as this from RS.
“Every penny raised in sponsorship will help us to give deaf people the confidence to leave behind the isolation that their condition can bring.”
There are 950 hearing dogs currently placed with deaf people across the UK bringing independence, confidence and companionship.
Hearing dogs alert deaf people to specific household sounds and danger signals.