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      Speak Easy hits the road

      Across the country people have been speaking out about the barriers they face when dining out with friends, family and loved ones.

      Public support for the Speak Easy campaign has been growing and as a result there are local dining groups springing up to try and tackle the issue of background noise in restaurants, cafes and bars from the ground up.

      We now have two fully formed dining groups- in Brighton and London- and more in the making.

      These dining groups are making a real impact on a local level already. Getting local branches to consider the needs of their customers with hearing loss can not only change the way that restaurant approaches noise but we hope it will also be fed up to more senior staff and go on to influence national policy.

      Both the Speak Easy groups have an ‘anyone is welcome’ mantra - whether they have hearing loss or not. It’s about bringing together people who find the levels of background noise in restaurants, cafes and pubs a barrier to enjoying a meal or drink out with friends and loved ones, so that they can raise awareness of excessive noise levels.

      The group meet ups have varied: some restaurants, such as Café Rouge, have been accommodating and made sure they were accessible and others, such as Zizzis and Carluccios, have been so loud that no one could hear each other at all. But these bad experiences have only motivated our campaigners further and we’ve been supporting them every step of the way to make sure the restaurants listen to and take on board the group’s feedback.

      “What I think is so great about the Speak Easy Diners Club is that together we are raising awareness and also advising how little changes can make a big difference for all.” - Megan Gibbs, Brighton Speak Easy Dining Group

      We’d love for more groups to start up; it’s a great way to start seeing change in your area as well as a chance to meet other people with hearing loss, deafness or tinnitus.

      If you’re interested getting involved please contact maddy.boakes@hearingloss.org.uk. We can help you to connect to others in your area and provide all the support you need to make your voice heard above the background din!

      To order your very own Speak Easy pack contact our Information Line- Action on Hearing Loss Information Line: Telephone 0808 808 0123 | Textphone 0808 808 9000 | 
      SMS 0780 0000 360 
      informationline@hearingloss.org.uk