Hero dog sniffs out cash for charity with golf ball mission

they have now managed to raise £400 and presented a cheque to Royston's EHAAT charity shop in Church Lane.  

Paul and Ray have now managed to raise £400 and presented a cheque to Royston's EHAAT charity shop in Church Lane. - Credit: Courtesy of Paul Fyson

An air ambulance charity has had a sizeable boost to its coffers -  all thanks to a golfer, a grandad and a very clever dog. 

Paul Fyson was playing golf on Therfield Heath when he came across a chap with a dog, who helped him get his ball.

Paul told the Crow: " I asked the guy what he was doing - and he said the dog finds golf balls. He pulled out a list from his pocket and said he had found thousands of them on their walks.

"I said that I wanted to have a look so we organised for me to go round in the week. I took a load to sell for charity - I started selling them cheaply on Facebook marketplace, people go mad for them."

Ray, 74, and his sidekick - who he and wife Marguerite affectionately call their 'grandog' as they look after her in the day for their daughter  - go out for walks five days a week in all weathers, as it is good for his health. 

Marguerite said: "The balls are found in the bushes and long grass and the dog makes good use of her sniffing skills and often finds them buried deep down in the ground. I don't go out very much for dog walks with Ray because they're out for hours!"

They only retrieve balls from inaccessible and very hidden areas, strictly adhering to golf etiquette and and great care is taken to avoid those in play.

The Phillips' are members of Friends of Therfield Heath - and Ray also does litterpicking at the SSSI site, so see clearing the golf balls that are building up as akin to that. The response has been positive as it's all for good causes -  "a win win all round!"

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Ray said: "Some of the golfers buy the balls back at a much reduced cost because its for charity, Paul sells them online and the ones that aren't playable are used at the golf club's practice area, Others that are marked are taken to the EHAAT and Wood Green charity shops for them to sell.

Since the initial chance meeting last summer, they have now managed to raise £400 and presented a cheque to Royston's EHAAT charity shop in Church Lane.  

They hope funds can be raised for other local charities in the near future - with Mr and Mrs Phillips wanting to donate to Wood Green, The Animals Charity, and Paul looking at a guide dog charity.

Paul added: "It all fitted into place perfectly. I feel really proud of us as a team - that we have been able to do this for the charity and have all played our part."