“It was my love of reading that led me to volunteering. I was in my local library in Kilmarnock where I got talking to volunteers running the charity’s community hearing aid support service and decided to get involved.”
Since retiring, Linda spent time looking after her younger grandchildren and, when they grew up, she decided to start volunteering: “As I’ve got a roof over my head and good health, I wanted to give something back to society.”
Linda, who was a registered nurse for 23 years, loved her hands-on, fast-paced job – aspects of her volunteering role she is now enjoying. After her initial training with NHS Ayrshire and Arran audiology, Linda shadowed more experienced volunteers at the charity’s drop-in sessions.
“Volunteering for Action on Hearing Loss Scotland is ideal because the drop-ins are busy and, thanks to the training, I’ve learnt a lot about hearing aids and hearing loss.
“I love meeting people and cover drop-ins in Kilmarnock, Hurlford, Darvel and Troon. Seeing the satisfaction on someone’s face when I have re-tubed their hearing aids is great!”
Linda has also started learning British Sign Language (BSL) and has completed the first module. “The driver for that was when a BSL user came to a drop-in and no one could communicate with him. When I learnt a few signs, he was so happy he kissed me! It really brought home the importance of being able to communicate with people.”
Volunteering with Action on Hearing Loss Scotland has meant she is out and about meeting people: “In my book, good volunteers are good listeners as well as knowing when people want to chat and when they don’t.
“People around my home town call me the ‘Hearing Aid Lady’, but I’m just Linda.”