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      Celebratory event recognises 5 years of befriending older people with hearing loss

      This week marks National Befriending Week (1st to 7th November) and leading charity Action on Hearing Loss is celebrating 5 years of the “In Touch” service, which supports older people across Northern Ireland experiencing isolation because of their hearing loss. The service matches those in need with a local volunteer who visits them on a weekly or fortnightly basis to provide friendship and support.

      This week marks National Befriending Week (1st to 7th November) and leading charity Action on Hearing Loss is celebrating 5 years of the “In Touch” service, which supports older people across Northern Ireland experiencing isolation because of their hearing loss. The service matches those in need with a local volunteer who visits them on a weekly or fortnightly basis to provide friendship and support.

      Action on Hearing Loss celebrated the 5 year anniversary of this service by holding an event during National Befriending Week on Wednesday 1st November at Malone House in Belfast. The event included a showcase of the project’s work and all volunteers received certificates to recognise their dedication to the project.

      The “In Touch” service currently supports 38 people across Northern Ireland, but more volunteers are needed to provide one to one support, and Action on Hearing Loss is urgently seeking volunteers to provide 2 hours of their time each month to meet this need.

      Hannah Quinn, Volunteer at Action on Hearing Loss in Belfast, said: “Hearing loss can cut people off from family and friends and make social situations difficult. Many people with hearing loss become isolated as a result, which can have a negative impact on their mental health and quality of life. We are appealing for local volunteers who would be interested in providing companionship and support to older people in their local community. If you have 2 hours spare in the month and you would like to learn new skills, meet new people and make a difference to someone’s life, we would love to hear from you!”

      For further information on Action on Hearing Loss services or to receive a volunteer application pack please contact Laura Murphy, Volunteer Manager, on telephone 02890 239619 or e-mail: volunteering.ireland@hearingloss.org.uk or visit the website at www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk . No experience is necessary to volunteer, full training will be provided and expenses paid.

       

      ENDS-

       

      Media Contact:

      Rebekah McKinstry, PR Officer

      02890 239619  rebekah.mckinstry@hearingloss.org.uk 

      Editor’s notes

      1. Action on Hearing Loss is the UK’s largest charity taking action on hearing loss. We are working for a world where hearing loss, deafness or tinnitus do not limit or label people and where people value their hearing enough to look after it.
      2. The ‘In Touch’ project, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, provides a one-to-one befriending service across Northern Ireland to older people who are deaf or have a hearing loss, both at home and in residential care, in order to reduce isolation, loneliness and risk. Since 2012, the project has given 112 people 1-1 befriending support and delivered information to 2076 people, thanks to 2644 hours contributed by volunteers.
      3. For further information about Action on Hearing Loss or to become a member, visit www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk, contact the Action on Hearing Loss Information Line on 0808 808 0123 (freephone) or 0808 808 9000 (textphone) or email informationline@hearingloss.org.uk.