Two members of First Focus staff and six volunteers have trained as Norfolk Deaf Association (NDA) Hearing Support Service volunteers, to ensure the continuation of Fakenham’s Tuesday NDA clinic at First Focus, following the departure abroad of NDA volunteer June Walden.
April Simnor, First Focus Co-ordinator, explained: “In June this year, we lost a vital service when a long standing and greatly valued NDA volunteer, June Walden, emigrated for a new life abroad. Not wanting to lose the Hearing Support Service clinic, we took action with NDA, who trained staff and volunteers to ensure that the clinic could continue every Tuesday, from 10am to 12noon.”
The NDA volunteers look after hearing aids, replace tubes, fit ear moulds correctly, supply new batteries and provide advice on how to get the most out of hearing aids.
Aliona Derrett, Chief Executive, NDA added: “I would like to thank April and the First Focus team for their dedication and support. It is excellent to have such a strong band of volunteers in Fakenham. Our Hearing Support Service currently looks after 10,500 Norfolk residents with NHS supplied hearing aids. We are very keen for more people to get in touch and use this free service.”
“We look after all NHS hearing aids that have been issued by Norfolk’s hospitals and West Suffolk Hospital,” continued Aliona Derrett, “along with Specsavers, Scrivens and the Outside Clinic. Hearing aid users who have a NHS supplied hearing aid, and have moved into the county, can also benefit from our free service.”
NDA also offers a Hearing Support Service clinic at Fakenham Medical Practice every Wednesday from 1pm to 3pm.
For more information about volunteering for NDA and setting up a clinic in your local area, contact Pam Spicer, Hearing Support Service Manager, NDA, t. 01603 404440, e. [email protected].
First Focus is a charity whose mission is to help people in Fakenham and the surrounding areas, who are in need, by providing information, a social centre, access to training, clubs and support groups. First Focus is open Monday to Wednesday, 9am to 1pm and Thursday 9am to 3pm, t. 01328 855083, www.firstfocus.org.uk.
Norfolk Deaf Association is dedicated to improving the lives of young people and adults with all degrees of hearing loss. This is achieved by providing hearing aid maintenance, advice on assistive listening technology and communication methods, and support and information on hearing loss and other related conditions. The charity was first established in 1898 and currently has a team of eight staff as well as more than 65 volunteers, t. 01603 404440, www.norfolkdeaf.org.uk.
More than 124,000 people in Norfolk have some degree of hearing loss. This equates to 1 in 7 people.
The NDA provides the following services: Hearing Support Service, Befriending Service, Tinnitus Support Group, Hard of Hearing group (HUSH! Club) and Deafness Awareness Training for commercial and public sector organisations as well as individuals.
Of the 2 million people in the UK that wear a hearing aid, only 1.4 million wear it regularly. Of the 124,000 Norfolk people that are registered as deaf, only 34% receive any support. The NDA is determined to improve that statistic. It is estimated that by 2031, 14.5 million people in the UK will have hearing loss (approx. 20% of the population)