Volunteers wanted for pioneering hearing project

A pioneering project in Northern Ireland is appealing for volunteers from Coleraine and surrounding areas to help provide vital support to NHS hearing aid users.

‘Hear to Help’, which is funded by The Big Lottery and run by Action on Hearing Loss Northern Ireland – formally RNID Northern Ireland – is looking for volunteers to help reduce the loneliness and isolation often experienced by people with hearing loss.

The project’s volunteers are trained to show residents how to get the best performance from their NHS hearing aids, so that they can hear more clearly and improve communication with friends, family and colleagues.

When fully trained, the volunteers will attend regular community drop-in sessions and visit housebound clients in their own homes to carry out basic maintenance on hearing aids, such as replacing tubing and batteries, and provide information on equipment that can make life easier in the workplace or at home.

Action on Hearing Loss Northern Ireland’s Regional Volunteer Manager, Judith Boyd, says: “We’re looking for enthusiastic people, who may have hearing loss, themselves, to volunteer for the rewarding experience of providing life-changing support to hearing aid users in Northern Ireland.

“Getting used to a hearing aid can be difficult and takes time. The volunteers will have a crucial role in building the confidence of local residents to use their hearing aids more effectively so that they can hear more clearly and live a full and active life.”

Volunteers will be given full training and expenses. In 2012, the charity will be piloting a new OCN recognised course as part of its training.

For more information contact Judith on telephone / textphone: 028 90 239 619, email: volunteeringni@hearingloss.org.uk or visit www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/HearToHelp