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Introducing Helpful Hours

As you have read in the past few volunteer updates, we have been working on our new Helpful Hours service.  

This new service sits somewhere between Helpdesk and LinkUp support groups, in that it covers a subject that has individual interest, yet universal appeal.

The first Helpful Hour isHow to get the most from your audiology appointment’.

It has been written and developed by a group of peer support volunteers and is now at rehearsal stage before being launched to the wider public. 

There are five segments within the hour that cover;

  • Preparing yourself mentally for your appointment
  • Getting ready to attend your appointment
  • Understanding process, procedure and language
  • Making the most of your hearing aids and other technology
  • Post appointment

How can a Helpful Hour be helpful? 

Audiology is a life-long relationship. Our Helpful Hour offers something for everyone, whether they are preparing for their first appointment or feeling reluctant to go back to see their audiologist after years of attending frustrating appointments.

At an earlier run-through, some of our volunteers were stunned to learn that others routinely saw and kept their audiograms. He had never been freely offered one in many years of appointments – that can now change thanks to this wonderful new service.

In this Helpful Hour, there is plenty to interest different audience groups no matter the stage in their hearing journey.

Our segment around technology could be of interest to an enquirer who is just beginning to find what’s available to support them. And, there is lots to learn about sensory support teams and access to work as well. 

Each segment has its own one page information handout. This will avoid information overload in the hour and be a nice follow-up opportunity to refer to.

So in short, there’s not much to lose by attending, but plenty to gain. If an attendee gets a couple of golden nuggets, or gems of information important for them, then great.

How does it work? 

Helpful Hours will be delivered online or in-person. They can be a stand alone talk request to a group (patient’s participation groups, U3A, etc..), or part of an information day, or even a community day.

They will be a presentation (larger group) or discussion (2-4 people). Where the subject allows, we can add a demonstration in to support the content.

Come along and find out more!

I appreciate this is quite short notice, but below are three dates this week you can come along and see our first Helpful Hour. If you would like to join a group, there’s no need to book, just use the links below. 

The dates to choose from are:

We would be delighted if you could come along and ‘put yourself in the shoes’ of someone who has found the link on the website and therefore self-referred (you know why you are going). As with every service, it’s not a one-stop-shop, it’s a part of the overall opportunities available to gain knowledge and confidence.

Please note: You may receive a notification that the meeting has started 30 mins before the times above. This is for the volunteer presenters to prepare. Please only join only a couple of minutes before the start time. I have put a ‘Lobby’ in place, so you will be admitted on request.

You will also receive the corresponding handouts, as if you were an attendee. They are in draft form and so, please just review the content. We will solicit your feedback once the session has finished, so you won’t be asked immediately. However, if there is any immediate praise such as emojis or comments you feel you can give, please do!

What’s next after this week?

After this week’s sessions we’ll look at and work through the feedback. We’ll then work on a calendar of dates of presentations available to be booked via our website. Expected lead time is 4-5 weeks after this week.

When marketing via our social media channels starts, please ‘like’ and ‘retweet’ and share the posts when you see them.

Finally we’ll work on a training plan for peer support volunteers who would like to become a presenter for future Helpful Hours. If you can’t join any of these three dates listed above, there will be a chance to view more rehearsals in June. They will be advertised on the Volunteers’ Team Channel.

Huge thanks in advance for your help at this stage. The volunteers have been meeting for an hour a month to get to this stage, so there is a lot of excitement…and some trepidation at reaching this point!

The content has been written to allow the presenter to follow the five key points, and allow the flexibility to be authentic when delivering, so each session will have its unique style.