Time to Share invites parent bloggers to share an hour or more of their time with a good cause, and write about it. The aim is to help raise the profile of charities across the UK, while giving much-needed practical support to those charities, and highlighting the amazing work being done across the UK by charity volunteers. June is National Volunteering Month, and we’re asking as many bloggers as possible to support the Time to Share campaign by giving some of their time, and helping to share the word about volunteering.

I was put in touch with The Ear Foundation. This amazing independent and pioneering charity started in 1989 when cochlear implantations to allow deaf (or deafened) children to hear, did not exist in England. A cochlear implant allows such children, who have hearing loss so severe the most powerful hearing aid will not help them, to hear.

A Canadian surgeon and expert in the field agreed to carry out the operation on a young boy who had lost his hearing in a fall from a tree, at Queens Medical Centre in the city. This treatment was funded by Mrs Marjorie Sherman. This led to more families seeking help to correct their child’s hearing and the charity bought a house for families who had travelled a distance to stay in and meet others in the same position offering support to each other. Since then the Ear Foundation have gone from strength to strength helping children and families around the country who came to Nottingham for their operation, providing support and help.

There now exists cochlear implantation centres around the country meaning families no longer have to make the journey to Nottingham for their operation. They also provide support for families of babies, preschoolers and teenagers who all have different issues to negotiate in their journey through life from speech to emotional support. Some of their patients have been deaf from birth, some from illnesses such as meningitis and others through accidents. As an ageing population they are also seeing more older patients who have lost their hearing due to age but still want to live full and active lives. More information about cochlear implantations can be found here.

The charity has several streams of income from charitable donations from private companies and donations. They do not rely solely on any one source which is very useful particuarly in today’s economy.

The Ear Foundation are something close to my heart as although I was fortunate enough to be born with two hearing children, my eldest was diagnosed with moderate deafness when he was around three years of age. Luckily this could be corrected with grommets but the isolation he must have felt and loss of confidence in not being fully away of his surroundings  was upsetting for me to see. Deafness can be equated with depression in that although you can’t see it, it affects the sufferer profoundly and is something they need to learn to manage and live with.

Volunteers play a key role in the charity’s works. There are lots of ways that you can help – from assisting at their fundraising events, stuffing evelopes or working in the groups. You may learn a new skill or put your own skills and experience to good use for the benefit of others.

You can also help in other ways..

  • Donate!
  • Send appeal letters on behalf of the Ear Foundation
  • Nominate the Ear Foundation as Charity of the Year to organisations
  • Contact potential donors, the media or places offering grants
  • Donations in lieu of presents
  • Host a fundraising event

If you are interested in getting involved you can contact Lorna Lord on 0115 9427804 or email heartohelp.nottingham@hearingloss.org.uk for more details.

Photos taken with permission from the Ear Foundation website

 

 

 

 

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