Cambridgeshire Hearing Help is looking for more volunteers in Cambridge, Linton, Bottisham, Burwell, Soham and the surrounding rural areas, in particular.
Volunteers need to commit to at least two hours per month providing community-based NHS hearing aid maintenance. No experience is required, although good eyesight (with glasses) and reasonable dexterity is essential.
Cambridgeshire hearing Help has been running since 1978 (previously under the name of CAMTAD) and relies on a team of over one hundred dedicated volunteers to maintain approximately 18,000 NHS hearing aids each year via its 42 Hearing Help Clinics, home visits, care home visits, and prison visits. Its work supports the NHS and enables NHS hearing aid users to maintain their wellbeing and independence, particularly those who have difficulty accessing mainstream services because they are older and frailer, have other disabilities, or live in rural areas, and demand for its work is continually growing as a result of the ageing population.
Each volunteer will need to complete a free hearing aid maintenance training course and the next course is running in Cambridge across six mornings, 10am to 1pm, on the 20th, 21st, 27th, and 28th of September, and the 4th and 5th of October. Special arrangements can be made if individuals can’t attend all these dates. If you are interested, please contact the charity: Tel: 01223 416141 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – more information can be found at: www.cambridgeshirehearinghelp.org.uk/volunteers
“Providing NHS hearing aid maintenance in the community is a hugely rewarding volunteering role, and why many of our volunteers have served us for ten, twenty, and even thirty, years. The rewards include; putting a smile on somebody’s face because they can use their hearing aids again, and reducing their risk of suffering from loneliness, isolation, anxiety, depression and dementia. They also include being part of our passionate, caring, and supportive team of staff and volunteers, many of whom have shared experience of hearing loss.” (Amanda Morgan, Cambridgeshire Hearing Help’s new Director, who uses an NHS hearing aid and cochlear implant)
Norman Hardy will be 80 this month and has volunteered for Cambridgeshire Hearing Help for over nine years. His hearing loss started at the age of five in WWII as a result of a V2 rocket bomb blast.
Our volunteer Norman Hardy
Norman says: “During the war a V2 rocket bomb landed across the road and the blast lifted me off the toilet seat and blew me through the bathroom door. From that day onwards I had ringing in the ears and a problem with my hearing, although I didn’t realise it at the time and often wondered why the teachers sat me at the front of the class when I was the tallest pupil. It was only when I was 16 and had my medical ready to go in to the forces that I was told I had a perforated eardrum. I consequently failed the medical and became a printer’s apprentice instead, and, in those days, we weren’t provided with ear protectors in an environment that was so noisy we had to learn to lip-read to communicate with each other, so this further damaged my hearing.
I started wearing hearing aids at the age of 60, and they made such as difference. This resulted in my joining Cambridgeshire Hearing Help because I wanted to give back and help others with hearing loss. I love the volunteering because there is a great camaraderie within the team and huge appreciation for the work that we do, and it gives me the opportunity to tell people about assistive technology that could improve their hearing further, such as the Bluetooth streamer I use every day.”