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Blog 2: How five golden nuggets became a Helpful Hour

Here, we take a look behind the scenes at how our peer support volunteers designed our first Helpful Hour – ‘How to get the most from your audiology appointment’.

Our volunteer Sylvia gives an insight to the creation of Helpful Hours.

A new idea

I love a challenge so when peer support volunteers were sought to develop a new service called Helpful Hours, I leaped at the chance, despite having no idea what it was or what it would entail.

However, our Services Delivery Manager not only had a clear vision, but such drive and infectious enthusiasm that within a short time our small team were committed and focused on the task ahead.

Our weekly meetings generated ideas, as well as laughter and a bond of mutual understanding and empathy. We realised that it doesn’t matter whether it is your first or 15th audiology appointment, there is always something to learn.

Picking a topic

Helpful Hours aim to provide information on the most important hearing loss topics. Our first task was to choose, and achieve consensus on, a topic that people new to or living with hearing loss want to know more about. That was the easy bit!

We opted for ‘How to get the best out of your Audiology Appointment’ since it is a complex subject and one, about which many of us are unfamiliar.

Attending audiology for your first visit, or a returning visit, can be stressful; however advanced planning, understanding of the procedure, terminology and outcomes are essential to ensure the appointment achieves the right outcome for your hearing loss.

Knowledge breeds confidence and if only, in my experience had I been party to this information fifteen years ago. It would have provided me with the tools to getting the best-case scenario for my own hearing loss.

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Five golden nuggets

The five golden nuggets were essential pieces of information to be incorporated into a presentation both live at events and talks, and online. They helped us to filter the sheer volume of material into something more concise and relevant to a one-hour session. The weeks slipped into months and the golden nuggets shaped into a working presentation.

We found a balance of lived experience and professional detail in an engaging format. So we began shaping handouts summarising the main points so that participants could concentrate on the information being shared without taking notes.

We tested the water with invited audiences of fellow peer support volunteers, staff and in front of a live audience at our Hearing Information Day in Yorkshire.

It doesn’t stop there, presentations offer a chance to air questions and get answers and there will be more Helpful Hours in the future on topics which are common to anyone with hearing loss.

Book your free place

To book your place on our first webinar, visit

Next time: Presenting Helpful Hours for the first time

Disclaimer: Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner and do not represent those of Hearing Link Services or Hearing Dogs for Deaf People unless explicitly stated.

SylviaSylvia had a career in language teaching prior to suffering sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) over 10 years ago. Since then she has worked as a volunteer with RNID to improve communication with GP practices for patients with hearing loss and promote lipreading skills. Over the past few years, she has been a volunteer for the Hearing Link Helpdesk and written articles to raise awareness of the impact of hearing loss on everyday life.