Services update May 2022 – Nicholas Orpin
It has been a long two years in the waiting, but LinkUp Groups made their return in Edinburgh on 20-22 May! Twelve participants joined Peer Support Volunteers Ann, Charles and Margaret, alongside staff members Michael and Helen, covering the issues and subjects causing the most trouble and finding the solutions – or the beginnings of solutions – to them.
The weekend was emotional and fun, instructive and intuitive, planned and unexpected, but always supportive and respectful. A big round of applause goes to everyone involved. Immediate feedback included:
“Thanks again from my wife and I for the fantastic weekend of information and participation”
“I thank you and all of the team, so many to mention, for an eye-opening weekend”
“Looking to going out of my comfort zone more often”
The next LinkUp Groups in Cookstown, Northern Ireland (17–19 June) and The Grange, near Princes Risborough (29–31 July), will soon be upon us. Contact staff facilitators Sue or Michael for volunteering details if you haven’t already done so. Please follow Hearing Link Services on social media and share the posts advertising the LinkUp Groups to help spread the news!
Many thanks to the volunteers who have responded to requests to go along to our Community Days run by Partnership Instructors (which have often involved a walk), and encourage awareness and take up of our services. Do look out for any requests to join one near you!
It’s been another successful month for our monthly community drop in sessions. Thank you once again to every volunteer involved. Regular community presence and contact with enquirers and beneficiaries make all the difference:-
• Mycenae House in Greenwich, SE London on every 2nd Thursday – the next session will be in June before a summer break. Please let me know if you are interested in co-volunteering here from September.
• Hearing Support Services – Edinburgh in Edinburgh Central Library – will resume in June on the 2nd Monday of each month
• Erskine Reid Macewen Activity Centre, Glasgow on variable dates
Thanks to volunteer Merleen and husband Paul for organising – and to Philip for attending – the Evesham Country Park Paws Appeal weekend. It was an opportunity to make new friends while raising awareness of all our services and it raised an excellent £373.11 in the process!
Many thanks to everyone who has already volunteered a couple of hours for the Paws Appeal. Every collection raises funds and increases awareness of all our services. Getting involved is an opportunity to start a conversation about all our services, and a great chance to meet some friendly like-minded people near you too. As mentioned last month, the list of collections keeps growing, so check back here regularly.
Helpdesk – the year in figures
Here are the figures for the year ending 31 March 2022. Of course, every figure quoted is a human interaction and conversation. The numbers represent a story told, a person listened to, and another forward step taken. Whatever way you want to read them, they represent an incredible amount of time given by you all to help everyone who comes to our charity for help and guidance. Heartfelt thanks to every one of you.
With 1,167 cases resolved, the Helpdesk remains our central service. You can see from the graph below that questions around audiology and technology cover around a quarter of all enquiries.
58 people attended a LinkUp Online which generated 48 volunteering opportunities and 100 contact hours for our volunteers. A further 56 volunteer peer support sessions, many as a way to cover issues raised on the LinkUp Online in more depth, highlight the depth of experience we have and that a flexible approach to services delivery is popular with volunteers and successful with beneficiaries.
18 Community outreach events, which encompass volunteer run or supported events such as; monthly drop-in sessions, information stands and conference attendance reached 593 people in all. Engagement ranged from short conversations and enquiries to direct peer support to taking charity literature and information.
An additional 396 people attended a talk or presentation to learn about how our services can really make a difference and be encouraged to take the first steps to regaining confidence and independence.
We also note attendee figures in meetings in the Third Sector, including national and regional health care authorities. These are counted individually, but the cascading of information of course has a much wider reach.
In all, Hearing Link Services helped – or at least reached – 2,881 people directly in the year. It’s a fantastic achievement for everyone involved.