Lord-Lieutenant backs local charity’s campaign on hearing loss

The Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire and his wife have backed a local charity’s campaign to reach out to the people struggling in silence with hearing loss throughout the county.

Hearing loss directly affects one in five people in Shropshire, a figure higher than in the UK as a whole. Yet this is a hidden disability which can leave people struggling to communicate and isolated.

Sir Algernon and The Honourable Lady Heber-Percy have become co-presidents of Shropshire charity Signal’s “One in Five” campaign, after seeing its hub for hearing loss in action in Shrewsbury.

Signal: The Hub in the Riverside shopping centre has received two and a half thousand visits from people seeking help with hearing loss and related conditions like tinnitus in its first year of operation.

The Hub’s friendly manager and volunteers provide emotional and practical support. This ranges from carrying out hearing screenings and explaining the pathways to local audiology services, to re-tubing hearing aids and demonstrating amplified telephones to connect grandparents with grandchildren.

The Hub also hosts peer support sessions and training in lip reading, sign language and deaf awareness, helping to break down barriers to communicating and isolation.

Research indicates that hearing loss and its isolating effects increase the risk of experiencing depression or developing dementia, so getting help early is important for wellbeing.

“We are delighted that the Lord-Lieutenant and his wife have given their backing to our drive to reach out to many more of the 64,000 people across this rural county who are deaf or hard of hearing,” said Chairman of Signal’s Board of Trustees, Rod Clark OBE [pictured with the Heber-Percys].

Sir Algernon and The Honourable Lady Heber-Percy hosted the launch of Signal’s One in Five campaign at their home, Hodnet Hall, near Market Drayton on 1 July. Guests from the worlds of public service, business, faith and philanthropy took part in this first in a series of awareness- and fundraising events.

Through this campaign, Signal aims to reinforce the support offered at its central hub and to further widen its specialist outreach and befriending services from the population centres of Shrewsbury and Telford to locations where residents struggle to receive support through lack of transport or poor health.

For more information about the charity’s One in Five campaign for Shropshire, please contact Signal here.