Stand up and be heard in town loop campaign

Age Concern at the Hearing Link event
Age Concern at the Hearing Link event

Hearing aid wearers are being urged to stand up and be heard as part of the Herald-backed “Let’s Loop Eastbourne” campaign.

The charity Hearing Link, which is behind the initiative to establish Eastbourne as the best looped town in the UK, is looking for more volunteers to check out hearing loops in the town.

Last week, Hearing Link joined forces with Asda at their store in The Crumbles, Sovereign Harbour, to stage a “Liberate Your Hearing Aid” day.

At the event, they were promoting for more volunteer loop checkers to get involved in the project.

The day-long awareness event attracted dozens of shoppers to find out more about their hearing aids, hearing loops and also some of the organisations who can help with hearing loss.

They included the East Sussex Hearing Resource Centre, who had their mobile resource van stationed outside the supermarket, along with Eastbourne Access Group, the Eastbourne Seniors Forum, Age Concern and loop manufacturer, Contacta.

Dave King, Hearing Link’s user experience manager, described the day as “a great success” where visitors could sample how clear the quality of a hearing loop.

“We attracted a good number of visitors who were interested to find out more about hearing loss,” he said. “One of the busiest people was audiologist Pauline Jenkins from the Park Practice who helped several people to better use their hearing aid.

“One lady said to me afterwards how, thanks to Pauline’s help and the advice she had received from the event, we had opened up her life since she could hear far better.

“That sort of comment made staging the day extremely worthwhile.”

He added, “We want to increase our work in Eastbourne by raising awareness of hearing loops and to map businesses and public buildings where they are examples of good working loops.

“We have a small, dedicated team of volunteers who do this work, but we are looking for more checkers.

“You need to be a hearing aid wearer, you will receive training and the commitment is small.

“However, the difference you can make is huge as we have already seen from the progress which ‘Let’s Loop Eastbourne’ has made over the past year.

“There is a far greater culture of acceptance towards loops in the town, which is fantastic.”

Asda said it was pleased to support the event.

Ashley Pearce, the company’s ambient trading manager, said, “The ‘Liberate Your Hearing Aid Day’ was a great success for the local community and was very well supported.

“The fitting of a hearing loop in our community room will be a great boon, opening up future events to more of the community.

“Thank you to everyone for their support.”