Palace trip for charitable Phil

Royal Appointment: Phil and Maureen Sandler of Cromford, who were special guests at HRH Prince Phillip's birthday celebration at Buckingham Palace through their work for Action on Hearing Loss, formerly the Royal National Institute for the Deaf.
Royal Appointment: Phil and Maureen Sandler of Cromford, who were special guests at HRH Prince Phillip's birthday celebration at Buckingham Palace through their work for Action on Hearing Loss, formerly the Royal National Institute for the Deaf.

A dedicated charity fundraiser was rewarded for his hard work with a very special trip to Buckingham Palace.

Phil Sandler, 80, attended the centenary gala celebration in London thanks to his work raising thousands of pounds for a hearing charity over the past five years.

Phil, of The Hill, Cromford, has worked tirelessly raising money for Action on Hearing Loss, formerly the Royal National Institute for the Deaf.

Phil said: “I was astounded when I got the invitation. I thought they were having a joke. It was very exciting.

“I was invited because I’m the longest standing community fundraiser. I’ve raised £2,000 for them since I started in April 2006. People have been very generous.”

The Duke of Edinburgh hosted the reception on June 10 to commemorate the charity’s 100 years of supporting people who have hearing loss, as part of his own 90th birthday celebrations.

Phil said: “It was a wonderful reception, there were some very important people there.

“Prince Philip was presented with a pair of ear protectors for when he goes shooting. He was quite thrilled with them. When he put them on he asked if he could get Radio Three on them. It was very funny.”

Phil first got into fundraising after suffering from hearing loss for many years.

“My hearing first started going when I was working in a noisy environment in a very big factory and then I was in the air force.

“I also loved rifle shooting, and at that time no one thought about ear muffs. Since then it’s greatly deteriorated. The new digital hearing aids they have now are marvellous, they’ve improved so much.

“When I saw the charity was looking for volunteers to place boxes in the area, I jumped at the chance.”

However, he admitted he will be reducing his charity workload over the coming year.

He said: “I’m greatly reducing the amount I’m doing, but I can’t give it up completely because I’m enjoying it too much. It’s very rewarding.

“It’s important that people know about the change of name to Action on Hearing Loss. It’s the same organisation, it’s just got a different name, so people need to look out for the name Action on Hearing Loss on the boxes in the shops.”