Hertfordshire Hearing Advisory Service (HHAS)
"Because I have hearing loss myself, I appreciate the help that people need. I enjoy visiting people and hearing about their lives. The NHS services are good, but you are one patient in hundreds. I think the personal touch helps - people sometimes need some extra support and encouragement."- Pat Brooks
Established in 1981, Hertfordshire Hearing Advisory Service (HHAS) is a charity dedicated towards helping those residing in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire with hearing difficulties or hearing loss. The services that they provide include free mobile support, hearing screening services and drop-in centres.
The assistance from HHAS goes beyond simply technical support. They also run the Hearing Aider programme where volunteers from across Hertfordshire visit hearing-impaired individuals to offer practical help, advice with their hearing aids, as well as provide companionship. Hearing Aiders visit residential homes, sheltered accommodations, day centres, private homes, and places of work. This programme also benefits many of those who have hearing impairments by tackling the issue of social isolation that they are faced with. Often due to hearing deficiencies, individuals report that daily activities, such as answering the phone and communicating with family and friends, are strained. Therefore, with the help of a Hearing Aider, clients may feel more in touch with others and the world.
HHAS and its Hearing Aiding Programme has begun to break down the wall of silence built up by hearing loss but still has a long way to go. In 2010 there were 101,343 people hard of hearing in Hertfordshire, and this number is only expected to go up. It is projected that by 2020 the number of people in need of the Hertfordshire Hearing Advisory Service (HHAS) will rise by about 20%. Therefore, there is a growing demand for the services that HHAS provide.
This charity relies on volunteers for its success and duly provides many volunteer opportunities. No experience is necessary and all volunteers are provided with full training. New volunteers are always welcome!
“"I enjoy it as it means I can help people feel less isolated. You can make such a difference in a small amount of time - it only takes about twenty minutes to retube a hearing aid, which will allow someone to hear again," Christine Cartwright
"Although I'm there to help people with their hearing aid, the social side is important too. Many of the people we visit live alone, so you might be their only visitor that day. I enjoy getting to know the people I visit and get a lot of pleasure out of knowing that I've been able to help them." Tony Huckle
"Because I have hearing loss myself, I appreciate the help that people need. I enjoy visiting people and hearing about their lives. The NHS services are good, but you are one patient in hundreds. I think the personal touch helps - people sometimes need some extra support and encouragement." Pat Brooks
"I've met a great bunch of people through volunteering for the charity. I also like learning stuff for myself - it's nice to keep up with the technology." Robert Webb
Created 1st January 2013