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Hearing Link volunteer named Heather Jackson Award recipient 2019

Hearing Link volunteer John Newton has been named this year’s recipient of the Heather Jackson Award.

The award is presented annually, and jointly, by the National Association of Deafened People (NADP)Signature, and Hearing Link, to a person who has made a significant contribution to the improvement of the welfare and opportunity of deafened people.

It has been instituted in memory of Heather Jackson, who passed away after a short illness in 2007. Heather was a charismatic leader who supported Hearing Link (or LINK as it was known then) in countless ways for over 15 years, was the chairperson of NADP for almost nine years, and also held Chairman and Vice Chairman roles within the CACDP (now Signature).

John was nominated for his dedicated work as a volunteer for our charity and also for the significant contribution he has made to improving the wellbeing of deafened people.

He was announced as the 2019 recipient during the annual NADP conference and AGM which was held in London on Saturday 22nd June. Fellow Hearing Link volunteer and NADP trustee Emanuelle Ding collected the award on behalf of John as he was unable to attend in person due to his volunteering commitments. A follow up celebration event is being planned by Hearing Link so the Award can be handed over to John in person.

John was first diagnosed with mild hearing loss at university, and in 2009 he recieved a cochlear implant. John is a retired industrial manager and he has volunteered within Hearing Link for many years and in many varied roles. He has facilitated group programmes, led talks, represented us at may events and has supported people on a personal one-to-one basis through our Helpdesk and as a Community Support Volunteer. He has recently taken up blogging and has quite a flair for it!

John is also very active increasing the needs of deafened people through his activities outside of Hearing Link. As a cochlear implant user, he is the Chairman of the Manchester CICADA group and has delivered many talks to the group. He uses his influence to inspire and motivate others with hearing loss to become more fully engaged in society alongside hearing people. He is also a former Trustee of NADP.

Michelle McMaster, Hearing Link’s Services and Northern Ireland Director, said: “John is a great example of the vast experience our Hearing Link volunteers bring with them when supporting others. John has freely given his time, energy and expertise to Hearing Link over many years and we couldn’t do our work without more people like him. John has made a huge positive difference to many people’s lives simply through his willingness to share himself in this way. This Award is a well deserved recognition of all he has given so far, congratulations to John!”