Cheeky Monkeys Plus 2: Two of life's true heroes, and a very worthy cause

Gundog Gear is proud and very privileged to be associated with the fabulous charitable trust Cheeky Monkeys plus 2. Based in Wigan Cheeky Monkeys Plus 2 helps disabled and underprivileged children.As a Trust they organise many fundraising events to generate as much income as possible for disabled and needy children. We first heard about Cheeky Monkeys at the 2013 Cheshire Game & Angling Fair. It was there that we heard about Bob Evans from Cheeky Monkeys, who had approached Clwyd Retriever Club asking whether they knew of an ex-gundog who was looking for a new home and would be suitable as a comfort dog for disabled and underprivileged children. As it happened, we had the perfect dog.

Bear is a 5-year-old chocolate lab bitch, who didn't make the grade as a working dog but was nonetheless a much-loved member of our kennels. However, we both felt that she was missing out on life as a house dog and family pet, and so we decided to make contact with Bob and introduce him to Bear.

Bob came to meet us a few days later at our home with his wife Kath and grandson Emmerson, and within moments of meeting Bob and Kath we both knew that they were absolutely the right people to take Bear. As we talked and they told us all about Cheeky Monkeys Plus 2, it also soon became apparent that we were in the presence of two of life's true heroes. And no, that is no exaggeration.

Bob and Kath work tirelessly for the children that their charity helps, and also for their local community, helping to make sure that the elderly and vulnerable in their neighbourhood are safe and happy. But more than that, they are honestly two of the loveliest, most genuine people we have ever had the privilege to meet. All they want to do is to bring some happiness to those amazing and courageous children who so desperately need and deserve it.

We quickly decided that we would do all we could to help and support them. The first step was to donate Bear as the charity's new comfort dog. As I write this she's been living with Bob and Kath for just over a week, and already she has settled in beautifully and is revelling in her new role. To date she has undertaken some charity work at a nearby Pets at Home store, and she already has hero status in the local neighbourhood as she raised the alarm when an elderly neighbour fell down her stairs and was too badly injured to get help.

Cheeky Monkeys Plus 2 has raised funds for all sorts of causes in and around Wigan, including an Annual Christmas Party for the children and Pupils of Hope School in Marus Bridge. They have plenty of instances where they have helped very needy children, whether it be providing funds for a new wheelchair or a specialist bed or enabling special needs and disabled children learn new sports. They have Grand Plans, but to fulfil them they need our help; whether it be a donation, prizes to raffle off, attending events or by giving up some of your time, it all points them in the right direction.

Moving forwards, Gundog Gear is determined to continue to support Cheeky Monkeys Plus 2 in as many ways as possible. This includes donating 10 pence from every order we receive to the charity, sending gifts for the children (what child doesn't want an army camo baseball cap?!) and fund raising for them at every event we are involved with. We would love to think that some of our customers might read this and feel moved to donate to this amazing cause, in which case please  contact us and we will put you in touch with Bob and Kath.

Emma McCarthy, August 2013