Charity for tens of thousands of 'unseen' hard-of-hearing people in Northamptonshire marks 1st birthday
A charity that helps tens of thousands of people in Northamptonshire who are left to "mourn" the loss of their hearing has celebrated its first birthday.
There are large communities to support deafness and the complete loss of hearing. But for the thousands of people who only loss of hearing over their lives, where do they turn for help?
In light of this, Northampton-based charity Deafconnect set up its hard-of-hearing service one year ago - and now it has celebrated its first birthday.
One-in-six people in Northamptonshire and the UK are hard of hearing or deafened, and Deafconnect works to reduce the isolation and loneliness surrounding the gradual loss of one of a person' basic senses.
Volunteer co-ordinator Linda Mitchell said: "There is a massive deaf community and culture out there but hard of hearing isn't as well-supported. And it needs a different kind of support.
"People lose confidence and even fall into depression because of the loss of their hearing. Because it comes later in life - sometimes gradually, sometimes overnight - people are often left 'mourning' the loss of their hearing.
"Many people think of hard-of-hearing and think of a little old lady with white hair and a hearing horn sticking out of her ear. But it can come at any age.
"Deafconnect's service helps people combat the isolation of losing their hearing and gives them social support that a GP might not offer."
The service pledges to help people have the best hearing they can but also to prevent loss of hearing through proper care.
The birthday party on Wednesday (November 27) at Spencer Dallington Community Centre brought together organisations related to Deafconnect to celebrate a year of work by the hard-of-hearing service.
Linda said: "It has been a very busy but rewarding first year for the hard of hearing service. People have been supported with one to one contact and social support groups that are being set up countywide to reach as many people as possible.
"As word is starting to spread about the services provided, more people are coming forward and asking for support and advice and this will hopefully continue going forward.
"We advise on many things including use and maintenance of hearing aids, adjusting to hearing loss, coping tactics, reducing isolation and living a quality life."
For more information, contact the Hard of Hearing Service, Deafconnect, Spencer Dallington Community Centre, Tintern Avenue, Northampton, NN5 7BZ, or ring 01604 589011.