Rotary Club Of Warwick

May8 - Rotary keen to help the hard of hearing

Warwick Rotary members heard about a new initiative “Lets Hear” from Michael Britland of Hearing Link this week and are keen to bring this to Warwick.

Michael told the club that almost 10 million people in the UK suffer from some hearing loss, and over 2 million have hearing aids. Over 6.4million are of retirement age, but 3.2million are of working age, and by 2031 numbers will have risen to 14.5million with many of the younger generation damaging their hearing by listening to music loud on headphones.

Losing your hearing can be devastating and can happen overnight. It can be caused by age, disease, infection, loud music, a bang to the head or a tumour. People may feel unable to leave the house, they may lose their job, become isolated and withdrawn. It can be very difficult not to be able to hear traffic, alarms, or the ability to hold a conversation.

Hearing Link is a charity which works for people who have lost their hearing and supports them to participate and enjoy life again. It also works with their partners, family and friends, as they often are affected by the changes that hearing loss can bring. It has recently merged with the Hearing Dogs charity and runs a Helpdesk and Hearing Hub connecting sufferers with resources and specialist support.

The “Let’s Hear” project aims to work with local communities to get Hearing Loops installed in shops and premises where people gather, and to make sure that those already in existence are working properly. They need to work in combination with a microphone, and people using a T-coil hearing aid. You see Hearing Loops installed at the Post Office, bank counters, and some supermarkets have a special till where you see the sign and kit installed. This would encourage people to come out and join in avoiding the embarrassment of not being able to hear in shops and halls.

Thanking Michael for his talk, Jackie Crampton said that Rotary Clubs across the West Midlands are making this a key project. Warwick Rotarians are keen get trained to use the checklists and visit premises, so that local people are not excluded. President John Hibben presented Michael with a cheque towards their work.