Connect Hear NI
Connect Hear NI is a new initiative by Hearing Link in Northern Ireland that will support people living with hearing loss in their own communities.
The five-year project, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, aims to help more people reconnect with their families and communities, while embracing experiences that they are commonly excluded from.
The project will be led and shaped by volunteers, with experience of hearing loss themselves, who will guide the activities that complement existing support and help to address current gaps.
There are three key themes:
• Start Hear – to address the needs of those newly diagnosed with hearing loss or those affected longer term who would benefit from additional support
• Meet Hear – encouraging people to come together with peers to share experiences and consider ways of improving access to all aspects of social and community life
• Learn Hear – offering training and educational opportunities both in relation to managing hearing loss and helping people engage in meaningful education and employment
For further information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text 07950 371095.
“My name is Martin Montgomery and I am 42 years of age. For 37 of those years, I have lived with a severe hearing loss, coping in the real world.
Over those years I felt that due to my hearing loss, I was different from others. I still feel this way to this day that I am not a hearing person or a profoundly deaf person, but I sit somewhere out there.
I have wanted to volunteer for some time now. I previously volunteered with a deaf youth charity in my twenties and wanted to give something back by helping others again.
Having heard about the valuable work of Hearing Link, and how it centres people with hearing loss at the heart of its organisation, I know that my volunteering will benefit me personally and emotionally, as well as enabling me to become more nurtured, and belonging as an individual.
I hope that by sharing my experiences of living with hearing loss through Connect Hear NI that it will inspire others, show them that they are not alone and give them the knowledge to equip themselves to lead their lives to its full potential.
I firmly believe in peer-to-peer support from people with a hearing loss, as we are all positive role models for each other.
Our hearing loss makes us part of who we are and this has to be embraced and understood by others.
I look forward to helping Hearing Link to flourish in Northern Ireland and reaching out to those with hearing loss to enrich their lives.
As a society we still have a long way to go in raising awareness of hearing loss to those around us, but being involved in Hearing Link and Connect Hear NI is a step in the right direction.“