We are thrilled that the Ideas for Ears Community Hearing Hub has had its excellent work recognised in the SVE Inspire Volunteer Awards. Our fantastic team of volunteers were awarded the prize in the Inclusion & Equality section. The win acknowledges the contributions that everyone has made and the general team effort that has got us to where we are.
Chair of the judging panel, Natalie Masterson, said: “Our judging panel always have a difficult job, but this year was their hardest choice yet with so many fantastic teams to choose from.”
Sally Shaw, founder and director of Ideas for Ears, commented: “Our fantastic volunteers very much deserved this recognition. Hearing and deafness issues are incredibly important to people’s sense of well-being and connection, and the Community Hearing Hub has made significant contribution towards improvements that can benefit huge numbers.”
The Award trophy and certificate were received at an evening celebration in Stirling by Sally and three Community Hearing Hub volunteers, Alison Delaney, Colin Fraser-Malcolm and Margaret Beaton.
The Community Hearing Hub has been so successful that Ideas for Ears is supporting the volunteers to turn it into a charity (the Forth Valley Hearing Access Forum) so even more can be done to tackle hearing and deafness issues across the local area.
Here are some of the things the Hearing Hub has been involved with.
- Volunteers between them have considerable and wide-ranging first-hand experience of deafness, including different levels of severity, use of hearing aids, lipreading, sign language and more.
- Through their volunteering activities, they have helped to equip themselves with knowledge and confidence to identify and tackle the barriers that reduce or prevent people with hearing loss from being able to access, participate and be included in meetings, events, activities and other opportunities.
- They have reached out to important local groups and individuals to help build awareness and understanding of the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion and how this relates to people with haring loss.
- They have written articles, shared leaflets and organised for presentations/talks to be delivered.
- They have helped review and assess hearing access by attending venues and services and reporting on their experiences.
- They have supported the emergence of pilot activities in the Stirling area to help identify how best to equip people with the knowledge, skills, capability and attitude to help make things easier and better for people with hearing loss.
- They were highly instrumental in instigating a project by Ideas for Ears that resulted in the creation of the UK’s first Hearing Access Protocol, which was launched in August 2018.
- They have been invaluable in supporting Ideas for Ears and the national organisation deafscotland to generate awareness of hearing access and to encourage a Members’ Debate in the Scottish Parliament to discuss the issue.
- They have acted as a focus group to influence the development of important aspects of the customer experience by a soon-to-launch, world-first phone technology for people with hearing loss.
- They have supported research by Ideas for Ears and the University of Dundee to investigate the communication issues that exist within table/group discussions. The project should result in digital facilitation tools that can promote inclusive communication.