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      New Information Service encourages people to take action on their hearing loss

      Action on Hearing Loss is encouraging people who are deaf, or who have a hearing loss or tinnitus to take action and live their lives to the full by accessing information and support available through the charity’s latest project, ‘Hear to Inform and Connect’, launched today (Tuesday 30 January) at the Tara Centre in Omagh.

      Caroline Doherty, Information Team Leader for Hear to Inform and Connect in Northern Ireland, says “One of the major reasons that hearing loss can have such a damaging effect on a person’s life is that some people take up to 15 years to address the first sign of it. But the sooner a hearing loss is addressed, the better a person is able to adapt to an intervention, such as wearing a hearing aid or learning to lipread. Taking positive action to address hearing loss improves an individual’s prospects of remaining active in work and in the community.” 

      The new project, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, is seeking to reach out to people living in rural areas, people from minority communities and people living in care homes, who may be particularly isolated by their hearing loss. It will be delivered in Northern Ireland, Scotland, London and South East England and will run until December 2019. 

      Joe Mahon of BBC’s ‘Lesser Spotted Ulster’ who took part in the event, says, “The lifestyle and culture of rural communities is an essential part of Northern Irish identity, yet people living in rural areas often face barriers in accessing essential services and can become isolated. It’s great to see Action on Hearing Loss providing a service that prioritises the needs of people in rural communities and seeks to inform and empower them.” 

      Information officers from the project will be delivering information stands in a range of community and health settings; giving talks on deaf awareness, equipment, communication and Action on Hearing Loss services; and carrying out basic hearing checks. 

      If you work in a care home, run a group that includes older people, or work in a setting that provides services to older people, please get in touch. Email: information.nireland@hearingloss.org.uk, or telephone: 028 9023 9619. 

      If you are interested in volunteering for this project and providing information to older people with hearing loss, please contact volunteering.ireland@hearingloss.org.uk or call 028 9023 9619.

      Paddy Montague
      Volunteer Paddy Montague