Deafened campaigner honoured
A deafened campaigner, who has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for people living with hearing loss in the UK, has been presented with a prestigious award.
Ronnie Bourne, from Hertfordshire, was named as recipient of the 2015 Heather Jackson Award at the National Association of Deafened People’s (NADP) AGM, held in London on Saturday (16th May). The award was presented by Professor Richard Ramsden.
The Heather Jackson Award is given annually to a deafened person who has made a significant contribution to the improvement of the welfare and opportunity of deafened people. It has been instituted in the memory of NADP chairman Heather Jackson who passed away in 2007.
Ronnie, who has been profoundly deafened since his early 20s, is currently honorary Vice President of Hearing Link, a charity he has supported for around 35 years.
His association with Hearing Link began when it was the LINK Centre for Deafened People and he attended its Intensive Rehabilitation Programme. The course helped him to regain his confidence and determination to succeed and support his young family after losing his job as a result of changes to his hearing.
After the programme he remained in touch and became a volunteer for the charity in the 1990s. Ronnie played a crucial role in supporting others with hearing loss and their families by facilitating its specialist support courses in England and through dedicated one-to-one support.
In 2000, Ronnie joined the charity’s Board of Trustees and over the past 14 years, he has helped it to develop including its merger with organisation Hearing Concern to become Hearing Link. He recently stepped down from this role at the end of his term of office, but continues to support the charity in his new role as Honorary Vice President.
Dr Lorraine Gailey, Chief Executive of Hearing Link, said: “Ronnie’s personal influence on the individuals with hearing loss he has supported has been immense. He is always been willing to ‘go the extra mile’ to support anyone in need. Many have remained in touch with him over the years, acknowledging the vital role he played in helping them reintegrate with their families and in the workplace.
“His influence on Hearing Link’s development has been extraordinary. Ronnie has given freely of his time, expertise and personal contacts in a number of ways to achieve this. His passion for Hearing Link and dedication to its survival and growth is unmatched! I’m delighted that he has been named as the recipient of this year’s Heather Jackson Award, it is thoroughly deserved.”
Ronnie, from Hertfordshire, added: “Heather was a courageous woman with an inspiring story to tell. She touched the lives of so many people with hearing loss. She helped them to learn new skills and to see they could enjoy life and realise their full potential. And she was good fun. She strongly believed in the power of volunteers helping one another.
“I am proud to accept this Award, and if I may I would like to do so by sharing it with all the wonderful volunteers I have met over the years. I know their dedication and support is highly valued by NADP, Signature, and Hearing Link. And even more by all of us with hearing loss.”
Hearing Link is a UK-wide charity active in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for people with hearing loss, their family and friends. The organisation makes it easy for people to find information and support and to connect with others who have similar experiences.
For support on hearing loss issues contact Hearing Link’s helpdesk by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Tel/Text: 0300 111 1113 or SMS: 07526 123255.
For further information please contact: Lorna Armstrong, Marketing & Communications Manager, Email: email@example.com Tel: 0131 447 9420 SMS: 07534 563485.
Photograph courtesy of NADP: L-R Professor Richard Ramsden presents Heather Jackson Award to Ronnie Bourne.
About Hearing Link
Hearing Link is a UK charity for people who have developed any level of hearing loss and their family and friends. It provides information and support and puts them in contact with others who have similar experiences. It aims to give people the knowledge, skills, confidence and contacts so they can more easily manage the practical and emotional challenges that hearing loss brings. It works across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.