Posted: 17 July, 2014 at 11:01 am

John returns to deaf charity service he helped save

John returns to deaf charity service he helped save

Wentworth and Dearne MP, John Healey, joined local campaigners to celebrate saving charity Action on Hearing Loss’ Hear to Help project.

The service supports Rotherham people who wear NHS hearing aids, and John visited one of its drop-in sessions in Swinton last week.

Action on Hearing Loss and local people represented by Healthwatch Rotherham successfully worked together with the MP to secure funding from The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust to keep the project running.

With almost 43,000 people affected by hearing loss in Rotherham, local volunteers offer life-changing support to residents, advising how they can get the most from their hearing aids and manage their hearing loss effectively.

John, who has supported the charity’s work with previous visits, said: “This is a great win and great example of what can be achieved by working together. I am really pleased to have been part of efforts to secure money and keep the Hear to Help service. The service being saved is a tribute to all those staff and volunteers who cared so much about it. I’m pleased for them but especially pleased for the many people that have come to rely on Hear to Help.”

Melanie Hall, Manager at Healthwatch Rotherham said: “This work demonstrates how Healthwatch makes local people’s voices heard. The people of Rotherham came, wrote, emailed and phoned us to tell us that they value this community services which reduces their social isolation and positively impacts on their health and wellbeing. We were able to supply local people’s views as evidence to inform decision makers. We are very pleased that local people have been listened to and action has taken place. We wish Action on Hearing Loss the very best on their joint work with The Rotherham Foundation NHS Trust.”

Action on Hearing Loss’ Senior Community Support Officer for the area Loss, Lorraine Briscoe, said: “We greatly appreciate John Healey MP’s backing for our vital work supporting his constituents and others with hearing loss in relaxed, friendly, community settings. The NHS and local authority have recognised the high demand for our Hear to Help sessions and we are extremely pleased that funding has been secured to continue providing life-changing services to hearing aid users in Rotherham.”

Maxine Dennis, Director of Operations at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘The Trust has supported the Hear to Help project as part of its commitment to ensuring that patients receive a quality service and experience. Accessing services close to home is of real benefit to those in our local communities.’

In the constituency, drop-in sessions take place Swinton, Wickersley, Wath and Rawmarsh.

For more information contact Lorraine on 01709 514268 or heartohelp.rotherham@hearingloss.org.uk