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      How we began

      We’ve been helping people with hearing loss for more than 100 years, and changed the lives of millions since we started.

      Some of our key achievements include successfully lobbying the NHS to provide free hearing aids in 1948, and hearing-screening for new born babies in 2000.  We’ve also been involved in life-changing research and become one of the UK’s leading specialist-care providers for people affected by hearing loss.

      The beginning 

      In the early 1900s, Leo Bonn, a successful banker with hearing loss, decided to use his wealth to improve the lives of those who were deaf, or had hearing loss. There were many societies, schools and missions devoted to the education and welfare of deaf people but they didn’t work together. Leo saw the need for a new, national organisation to co-ordinate activities so more people could be helped. His aims were ambitious: to support and care for people with hearing loss, to educate those at risk of damaging their hearing, and to raise awareness of how isolating hearing loss can be. 

      A national charity for deaf people was born

      In 1910, Leo’s lipreading teacher, Mary Hare, introduced him to Arthur Story, headmaster of the Mount Blind and Deaf School in Stoke-on-Trent, who was leading the call for a national organisation for deaf people. Leo was so impressed that on 9 June, 1911, he hosted a meeting of the disparate organisations in the dining room of his Mayfair home, where he offered to establish and fund the National Bureau for promoting the General Welfare of the Deaf.

      Continuing to improve lives

      With Leo at the helm, the founding organisations set out their three aims: to co-ordinate charity activities for deaf people, provide accurate information and statistics, and suggest reforms to improve their lives.

      Since then, we’ve achieved so much. But our work’s not over yet. Today, our three aims are to provide Support and Care, develop Technology and Treatments and achieve Equality for everyone confronting deafness, tinnitus, and hearing loss. We’re driven to succeed by the same passion to improve lives that inspired Leo Bonn, our founder.


      With your support, we can continue the work that Leo Bonn began. Donate now and help us support millions of people with hearing loss and tinnitus.

      Donate now

      Donate now

      Help us make a difference today

      Please choose how much you would like to donate:

      £10 could pay for one hour of testing to improve cochlear implants.

      £20 could provide transport to and from a Hear to Meet befriending session for someone with mobility difficulties.

      £30 could pay for two hours of microscope use to study how blood flow to the inner ear is important for hearing.

      £60 could pay for half a day’s research into treatments and cures to bring the joy of sound to thousands of people.

      Your donation today could change lives by funding research into much-needed treatments and cures, and by providing emotional and practical support so no one affected by hearing loss need feel alone.

      For safety we only allow donations of up to £25,000 online. Please call us to complete your donation. We apologise for the inconvenience.

      Telephone: 01733 361199 Textphone: 01733 333 3333

      Please choose how often you would like to donate.