Hear to Help provides free support for 900 people in Dundee in community venues such as libraries, during home visits as well as sessions in 12 sheltered housing units. We believe that our service delivers the vision outlined in the Scottish Government’s Health and Social Care Delivery Plan (published in December 2016) of supporting people to self-manage their conditions in their communities.
Our volunteers, many of whom have hearing loss themselves, are trained by NHS audiology to clean ear moulds and replace tubing – locally delivered person-centred support which benefits especially many older people who are less mobile or housebound by enabling them to hear more clearly and live independently without the need to travel to hospital.
Hear to Help has been kept running in Dundee through grants from small trusts and charitable donations as well as funding from Dundee Community Health Partnership and Dundee Partnership Team in 2014/15. As Action on Hearing Loss Scotland has been asked to ‘take a break’ from applying to a charitable trust which has been very supportive in recent years, we have been painstakingly piecing together money every three months to keep the service going throughout 2017.
With our Hear to Help services elsewhere in Scotland being funded by local health and social care partnerships, we started our #SaveHearToHelp campaign after Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership rejected our approach to identify funding to keep our service running in the city.
We have been overwhelmed by the backing for our campaign from people who use Hear to Help, our volunteers as well as cross party Councillors, MSPs and MPs. Action on Hearing Loss Scotland is now working with Dundee City’s Sensory Services Strategic Planning Group to fully inform Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership in October 2017 about how they can ensure people will continue to have their NHS hearing aids cleaned or re-tubed in all communities supported by our service.
In the hope that the Integrated Joint Board for Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership will conclude that funding Hear to Help is the most cost-effective sustainable solution, we have started a fundraising drive to secure the short-term future of Hear to Help across Tayside. We are very grateful for generous donations, so far, which are enabling us to continue running Hear to Help until the end of December 2017.
If you would like to make a donation towards keeping the service running, please search for ‘Save Tayside Hear to Help Service’ on www.justgiving.com or click https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/actiononhearingloss/saveheartohelptayside. Alternatively you can send a cheque payable to ‘Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’ and write ‘SaveH2H’ on the back. Cheques should be posted to: Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, The Old Mill, 23 Brown St, Dundee DD1 5EF.
Please contact your local councillors and MSPs to raise your concerns about the closure of Hear to Help and ask them to please make representations to Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership on your behalf as a constituent.
Find your Councillor on the Dundee City Council website www.dundeecity.gov.uk/councillors
Find your MSP at www.parliament.scot/msps
For more information about our campaign, please email:email@example.comIf you are on Twitter, tweet your support for #SaveHearToHelp to @hearinglossSCO