The Hearing Friends project, run by the charity Action on Hearing Loss Cymru, provides support to patients in County Hospital in Griffithstown near Pontypool and Chepstow Community Hospital.
Some of the responsibilities will include reading to patients, walking with them around the communal gardens and helping them engage with ward activities. Volunteers will also liaise with hospital staff to help patients with unidentified hearing loss and refer them to an audiology clinic.
Dawn Tattershall who volunteers at County Hospital in Griffithstown, said: “Being in hospital can be a very lonely experience and it’s even harder if you find it difficult to communicate or socialise. But it’s incredibly rewarding when you see someone come out from their shell because of your support. It’s such a great feeling when you notice them change, sitting upright and engaged in conversation. You’re changing people’s lives and opening up a new world for them.”
More than 575,500 people in Wales have some degree of hearing loss. Being hard of hearing can lead to loneliness and isolation, especially in an unfamiliar environment such as a hospital.
Rebecca Woolley, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Cymru, said, “The Hearing Friends volunteers will play a vital role in supporting people in hospital who are deaf or hard of hearing. Hearing loss affects one in six people in Wales and the communication difficulties can lead to people feeling lonely, losing their confidence and even getting depressed. Our volunteers will be on the frontline in making sure that patients feel supported and included.”
For more information, or to become a Hearing Friends volunteer call 02920 333034, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/wales.
The service is a partnership between Action on Hearing Loss Cymru and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board funded by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action.
Contact for media enquiries:
Llŷr Owain Wilson-Price, Communications and Campaigns Officer
Action on Hearing Loss Cymru 02920 333034 /Llyr.email@example.com
Notes to editors
- Action on Hearing Loss Cymru is the Wales arm of Action on Hearing Loss, formerly the RNID.
- Around 575,000 people in Wales are deaf or have hearing loss, almost as much as the populations of Cardiff and Swansea combined.
- Our staff and volunteers provide specialist care and support services for deaf people with additional needs and community health services to assist people to manage their hearing loss.
- Action on Hearing Loss invests more than £1.5million into research each year and our biomedical team are working to find a cure for hearing loss within a generation.
- For more information visit www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/wales.