How many people in your street struggle to hear and shy away from conversation because it can become exhausting or embarrassing? Maybe more than you realise.
Hearing loss is a hidden disability which affects 1 in 6 of us in the UK and as many as 1 in 5 of us in the rural county of Shropshire with its older population.
It can be exhausting to constantly strain to follow conversation, especially amid a group or background noise. It can be embarrassing to constantly ask “pardon?”, whether among family, friends or colleagues.
People with hearing loss can find it difficult to share in a spontaneous joke or to contribute their ideas. They may give up and hang back socially or at work, feeling sidelined and a loss of self-worth.
Signal has launched a campaign to enable the charity to reach out to many more of the 64,000 people across Shropshire who are deaf or hard of hearing and help them to lead full and active lives.
Royal representative lends support
The Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire Sir Algernon Heber-Percy and The Honourable Lady Heber-Percy have become joint presidents of the 1 in 5 campaign, after visiting Signal’s Hub in Shrewsbury.
Through this campaign we aim to raise awareness and funds to strengthen the work of our central Hub. We also aim to widen our outreach service and our new befriending scheme further from the population centres of Shrewsbury and Telford to locations where residents struggle to receive support through lack of transport or poor health.
The Hub’s Manager Paul Coope and trained volunteers carry out a range of activities – from undertaking hearing screenings and explaining the pathways to audiology services, to re-tubing hearing aids and demonstrating amplified telephones to connect grandparents with grandchildren.
The Hub also hosts tinnitus networking sessions and training in lip reading, sign language and deaf awareness, helping to break down communication barriers and stigma.
Signal’s Outreach Worker Joanne Rose supports deaf sign language users, with a clinic in Telford, as well as people coming to terms with hearing loss or undergoing a cochlear implant operation.