Services update – September 2022

By Nicholas Orpin

September felt like a real extension to the summer as we continued the charity’s 40th Anniversary celebrations with an excellent day in Belfast.

It was a great opportunity to thank the amazing volunteers, most of whom I had met at June’s LinkUp Group, and also to meet and hear the stories of the numerous hearing dogs partnerships across Northern Ireland. This lovely event that set the scene for future community days, where the whole charity family comes together. There was also cake and a pack of Hearing Link Services information to take away.

Our main focus in September was the Helpdesk and fledgling LiveChat service, through which we have resolved (at the time of writing) enquiries from 100 people.

My roll-out presentation of the Peer Support Team that I talked about last month is nearing completion and in the early days of October it will be good to go.

It starts where we thought we were in April 2020 with plans for services, volunteer development and a clearer idea of how Hearing Link Services could be fully embraced into Hearing Dogs, while retaining its distinctive strengths.

There will be a series of short videos with an overview of the three teams that make up the Hearing Loss Services Department and how we work together to support all the beneficiaries the charity meets, as well as the wider public.

The presentation will cover the services you know and those we have talked about, including Community Days and Helpful Hours.

It will show how we’ll try to learn about someone who comes to us for assistance, and the best way they can access as many services as they need and meet the right peer support volunteer at the right time.

It will also cover training, communication and opportunities and let you know the planned timetable to get things rolling.

A LinkUp Group in Fife is all set for 7-9 October with 12 participants all signed up and ready to go.

Drop-in hearing support sessions are continuing in London and Edinburgh. Please follow us on social media and ‘like’ and ‘retweet’ our posts to encourage awareness.

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