The Great British Dog Walk at Windsor Great Park attracted more than 220 people on Saturday included TV's Countdown presenter Rachel Riley - all determined to do as much as they could to support deaf people given a lifeline by their beloved pets.

The walk began at the Wick Lane entrance in Englefield Green and was held to raise money for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

Rachel Riley said: “The walk is a lovely way for dog lovers to get together to show support for a fantastic charity. Cuddling puppies has always been one of my favourite pastimes but I never knew what a difference a hearing dog could make to the life of a deaf person until I saw it first-hand.”

Southern Counties Community Fundraising Manager for the charity Nicholas Orpin said: “It was really heart-warming that so many people came along to support Hearing Dogs despite the unseasonably chilly weather. We had two accessible routes around the park with some stunning views. Our fantastic volunteer marshals were on hand to encourage all the walkers round on the day. We were very lucky to have Rachel Riley come on the walk too.”

The effects of hearing loss can be devastating. But hearing dogs alert their owners to crucial sounds like the smoke alarm, as well as everyday sounds like the doorbell and mobile phone alerts. They also provide companionship.

Locally based recipient George and Hearing Dog Jake were among those who enjoyed the walk on Saturday.

George said: “Jake and I have walked in the park for many years. Whenever I am out with him, people automatically know I am deaf because of his Hearing Dogs jacket and they adjust how they talk to me, which really helps with communication. The Great British Dog Walk helps raise awareness of hearing loss in a fun and friendly way.”

You can find out more about Hearing Dogs and how they transform deaf people’s lives at www.hearingdogs.org.uk