Steve Liversage, who served for 27 years in the Welsh Guards, lost his hearing due to exposure to gunfire and also led to tinnitus – a loud and persistent ringing in his ears.
“People don’t realise how hard it can be to lose your hearing. It makes it very hard to have a conversation and it really knocks your confidence having to ask someone to repeat themselves over and over again. This made me feel very lonely.”
The Aged Veterans Project, funded through the Ministry of Defence’s Aged Veterans Fund, has been launched to support veterans across Wales who are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus.
The free service offers information and support in the community and in people’s homes; providing basic hearing checks, trials of equipment and support before and after hearing aids have been fitted.
Steve said, “I was given a lot of information, help with my hearing aid and equipment to trial which made a world of difference! It not only helped with my hearing but also the social aspect – I was introduced to social groups which has really helped with loneliness. I would hope that other veterans with hearing loss take advantage of this wonderful project.”
Rebecca Woolley, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Cymru, said, “Deafness, hearing loss and tinnitus can be incredibly isolating and can lead to mental health problems and depression. Research shows that retired soldiers are more than three times more likely to experience hearing loss than the general population, often due to repeated exposure to small arms fire, artillery, engines and explosives. This new service will help veterans across Wales get the support and information that they deserve.”
For more information on the Aged Veterans Project, email email@example.com or phone 02920 333 034.
Contact for media enquiries:
Llŷr Owain Wilson-Price, Communications Officer
Action on Hearing Loss Cymru 02920 333034 / Llyr.firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
- Action on Hearing Loss Cymru is the Wales arm of Action on Hearing Loss, formerly the RNID.
- The Aged Veterans Project is funded by the Chancellor using LIBOR Funds and will run until 2020 and is particularly aimed at veterans born before 1950.
- Over 575,500 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.