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Press release   •   Feb 20, 2019 10:09 GMT

Carousel Buses has partnered with a deaf charity to support a specialist training programme of dogs that help hearing impaired passengers on public transport.

A complimentary bus pass for use on all Carousel Buses services was presented to Hearing Dogs for the Deaf this week. It will enable volunteer training instructors from the charity to travel free on all Carousel Buses services with trainee-assistance-dogs to familiarise the hounds with public transport.

Training Instructor Nicola Williscroft of Hearing Dogs for the Deaf will be familiarising trainee-assistance-dogs across services in Beaconsfield, Gerrards Cross and the Chalfont's. Nicola and fellow volunteer Clare Coote visited Carousel Buses’ High Wycombe office with Cooper, a black Labrador trainee dog to collect the pass.

Phil Southall, Carousel Buses Managing Director, said: “We strive to make travel on our buses easier for everyone via our Access for All policy. We’re aware different passengers have different needs to make travel easier and are always seeking ways to improve our service. On this basis we didn’t hesitate to support Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, a charity that provides an invaluable service to people with hearing impairments.”

Nicola Williscroft, Dog training instructor for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, said: “The bus pass Carousel Buses very kindly offered will be put to great use over the coming months. When a hearing dog passes its hearing dog accreditation test and becomes a fully coated qualified hearing dog, the dog may be taken on buses, trains, and taxis with its deaf recipient.

“Fully coated qualified hearing dogs by law are allowed to go everywhere it's deaf recipient would go. It is therefore an important part of a puppy's training that we do short trips and slowly build up the pup’s confidence to go on public transport.

“To be given a pass to go onto buses around the county will hugely benefit Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, we are a charity who rely on the support and donations from members of the public and generous companies/organisations like Carousel Buses.”

Hearing Dogs for the Deaf was founded in 1982 and helps people with hearing difficulties via the support of specially trained hearing dogs. Fully qualified hearing dogs provide life-changing independence and confidence for recipients, as well as being trained to alert deaf people to important sounds, such as door-bells and smoke alarms.

Carousel Buses, a subsidiary of the Go-Ahead Group, employs around 80 people and operates around 45 buses in High Wycombe and the wider Buckinghamshire area. It also serves locations including Hemel Hempstead and Watford in Hertfordshire and Uxbridge and Thame in Oxfordshire. 

The Oxford Bus Company has kept the people of Oxford moving since 1881. Our services now span the width and breadth of Oxford and also take passengers to London, Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. In addition, our City Sightseeing Oxford hop-on, hop-off open topped bus company provides enjoyable tours of Oxford. And our sister companies, Thames Travel and Carousel Buses provide convenient travel services across South Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire respectively.