Service update from Nicholas

Here we are at the beginning of spring and a time of the year when we can be looking forward to warmer – if not less rainy – days. March was the final month of our (financial) year and I hope to give a fuller account of the services when all the information and feedback has been gathered.

Helpful Hours Webinar

Many thanks to Julia and Sylvia for extending the success of this service for another month. We have helped over 70 people through our webinar (and roughly the same in-person). Their approval rating is still high at 4.75*/5 for content, and appreciation of the volunteers’ knowledge is 4.8*/5

While there are clear segments to the presentation, it is the lived experience of the volunteers that brings it to life (as seen in the captions below).

Reaction to the anecdotes is really positive with one participant reporting on her experience at a recent appointment:

‘I’ve stopped raising my balance issues as was made to feel this was not related. I was so interested to hear Julia’s experience today and to realise it is not just me’.

Screenshot of a Helpful Hours presentation with two peer support volunteers on camera.

Another attendee reflected on what will now be their new approach to appointments.

‘Plan ahead, take questions, be a participant in the process. Then take a treat (chocolate!) for the post-appointment emotions!’

Guest of honour was trainee presenter Helen who got to join the backroom team and experience some of the technical aspects of the role (positioning the captions, managing the Q+A, joining the presenter at key moments, etc..). All part of the experience for all the trainees helping secure the future of the service.

There are further dates planned for April, May and June. If you haven’t attended before, please do come along and find out more about this interesting topic.

Community Days

Mosiac of images from recent Community Day

It’s a wrap! Incredibly we have completed a year of Hearing Loss Community Days!

Starting in Staplehurst and ending in Gateshead, the days have been a great opportunity to help, connect and support individuals to our wide range of services.

Thank you to everyone who has volunteered at one (or more!) In all, peer support volunteers have attended 26 out of a possible 28 days, and made a great impression at them all!

In the main, attendees appreciated any immediate support they had, as well as information and encouragement to explore the services further.

Thank you again to Anne and Gareth for these two events in March – a great way to end the year!


At time of writing, there are still 10 days to go before the end of the month. We can see how the year is shaping up in terms of Helpdesk enquiries, and we are expecting to end the financial year with around 380 cases of direct support.

Technology, once again the most requested subject of the year, followed by hearing aids in second place and support groups in third.

Thank you again to all the responders who have volunteered their time and experience to all the enquiries made this and every month.


It’s great to see the continued engagement on the peer support Microsoft Teams channel.

If you haven’t been yet, then you are missing out on a great way to stay connected and support each other. With an average of one new post every two days, it’s well worth checking in regularly.

Get started at Hearing Link Services Volunteer Group.