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      Hearing aid support service launched

      A new service to support deaf and hard of hearing people in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend has been launched by the charity Action on Hearing Loss Cymru.

      The Hear to Help service will enable people to receive free NHS hearing aid repairs and maintenance in local libraries, community centres and through home visits. This will be provided by volunteers trained by local audiology departments – many of whom will be hearing aid users themselves.

      The award-winning project, which is running in conjunction with Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board, currently has monthly clinics running in Cwmafan, Gorseinon, Mumbles, Morriston, Glynneath and Pencoed. The charity is also looking for new volunteers to expand the service into more areas.

      Research shows that 65% of new hearing aid users experience difficulties in using their aid and often cannot easily access simple follow-up support from their audiologist. Hear to Help means people can get this support in their local community, often from volunteers who have a hearing loss themselves.

      Doug Adams, Chair of the Swansea Hard of Hearing Group and a hearing aid user himself, said:

      “Like many of our members I have a significant hearing loss and need my hearing aids at all times. If one stops working, I am unable to carry on even a basic conversation or use the telephone, so I need them fixed as soon as possible.

      Many members of our group are in a similar position and would face a long journey across town on several buses to get to the hospital for repairs. Having access to a volunteer who could do minor work and maintenance in a local library or community centre would make all the difference to our daily lives.”

      Rebecca Woolley, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Cymru said:

      “We are absolutely delighted to be able to bring our celebrated Hear to Help service to Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend. The project provides life-changing support for NHS hearing aid users of all ages, helping them to build confidence and independence and overcome issues such as loneliness and isolation that can be experienced with a hearing loss.

      It is amazing to see the tremendous impact a hearing aid can have in transforming a person’s ability to hear and live a full and active life and we look forward to continuing to work with our local health board partners and volunteers to be able to now provide a fantastic support service for hearing aid users in even more local communities.”

      The clinics will run on the following days and locations:

      Morriston Library
      13A Pentrepoeth Rd, Morriston, Swansea SA6 6AA
      3rd Friday of every month 10.30-12.30am

      Glynneath Library
      7 Park Ave, Glynneath, Neath SA11 5DW
      4th Thursday of every month 2-4pm.

      Oystermouth Library
      15 Dunns Ln, The Mumbles, Swansea SA3 4AA
      3rd Friday of every month 2-4pm

      Pencoed Library
      54 Penybont Rd, Pencoed, Bridgend CF35 5RA
      3rd Monday of every month 2-4pm
      Start Date: 19th March

      Gorseinon Library
      15 West St, Gorseinon, Swansea SA4 4AA
      1st Wednesday of every month 2-4pm

      For more information on clinics or volunteering, go to actiononhearingloss.org.uk/wales

      ENDS

      Contact for media enquiries:
      Llŷr Owain Wilson-Price, Communications Officer
      Action on Hearing Loss Cymru 02920 333034 / Llyr.wilson-price@hearingloss.org.uk

      Notes to editors

      • Action on Hearing Loss Cymru is the Wales arm of Action on Hearing Loss, formerly the RNID.
      • Hear to Help is supported by the Changing for the Better Grants Programme, awarded by Swansea CVS.
      • 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.
      Volunteer Terry Dewar replaces a hearing aid tube at a Hear to Help drop-in clinic.