A group of volunteers from the Western Health & Social Care Trust area have been recognised for their vital role delivering hearing aid maintenance and information to people with hearing loss across the Trust area.
The Awards, held annually by Action on Hearing Loss during National Volunteer Week from June 1 to 8, recognise volunteers for their vital role in delivering the charity’s services to people with deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss in Northern Ireland.
The group were hailed as being ‘the eyes and ears’ of the charity; supporting 15 monthly Hearing Aid User Support Sessions across the Trust, delivering home visits, hearing checks and information talks, and taking part in fundraising events.
Geraldine Keys, Information Officer for Action on Hearing Loss’ Hear to Inform and Connect Project, which delivers information to people in rural areas, BAME communities and people in care homes, said: “This team are worth their weight in gold to this project and others within Action on Hearing Loss. Their willingness, commitment to the project and sharing of their own personal experiences makes them an absolute joy to work with. Their passion for the organisation is obvious when you see them delivering information and they are excellent advocates for the charity in other organisations they are involved with.”
Mary Cruickshank, Hearing Aid Liaison Officer in the Western Trust area, said: “Although the geography of the Western Trust is widespread, the volunteers continue to cover the services seamlessly; providing new batteries, re-tubing and information to NHS hearing aid users, delivering outreach health events and home visits. The team work with the utmost professionalism and are greatly respected for their work.”
Mary Mooney, a volunteer from Strabane, said: “I believe everyone in the team gains great satisfaction from providing a useful service to all the clients who attend the many drop-in clinics that we run in the Western Area. As well as regular hearing aid maintenance, we are happy to be able to give encouragement to those having difficulty inserting, and using, their hearing aids, or to provide a hearing check and useful booklets and information. On a personal note, I am particularly pleased to be able to attend clients who are mostly housebound - it is my greatest pleasure to know that a client does not feel excluded due to their hearing loss.”