Charity’s lifeline for elderly Norfolk residents with hearing difficulties

The Deaf Association mobile services that visit Diss are a lifeline for many. Photo by Lucy Begbie

The Deaf Association mobile services that visit Diss are a lifeline for many. Photo by Lucy Begbie - Credit: Archant

Elderly people who are deaf or hard of hearing have said a mobile van which tours South Norfolk towns is providing a lifeline.

A volunteer advises Norfolk Deaf Association mobile services user Ruth Lanley. Photo by Lucy Begbie.

A volunteer advises Norfolk Deaf Association mobile services user Ruth Lanley. Photo by Lucy Begbie. - Credit: Archant

Residents from Norfolk and Suffolk have praised the service provided by the Norfolk Deaf Association and said they would be lost without it.

The charity, run by staff and volunteers, takes its van to towns such as Diss, Attleborough and Wymondham once a month.

Those who suffer hearing loss are able to queue and receive advice and support, as well as have their hearing aids cleaned and new batteries provided.

Ruth Langley who was getting help and advice from one of the volunteers at the mobile van said: 'We need this van. It's a vital service for the community. If people are on their own and don't have transport, they rely on this.'

Norfolk Deaf Association mobile services visit Diss. Photo by Lucy Begbie.

Norfolk Deaf Association mobile services visit Diss. Photo by Lucy Begbie. - Credit: Archant

Susan Laughlin, from Diss, who was queuing, said: 'I've been once before and I'm back again because my hearing aid isn't working.

'I'd have to go to the hospitals in Norwich or Bury St Edmunds, so it's much easier to come here – you save on petrol and parking.'

Most Read

Judy Crisp, from Occold, who travelled eight miles on the bus to attend the hearing aid clinic, said she has lived with hearing loss a long time.

She used to wear one hearing aid but now wears two and says she used to shout because she did not even realise she was shouting.

Victor Dyer, from Palgrave in Suffolk, who was also using the mobile service, said: 'I haven't been here before. West Suffolk Hospital suggested I came here as it is a 70 mile round trip to Bury St Edmunds Hospital.

'I first noticed there was a problem when my wife started nagging me – she thought I had selective hearing.'

Volunteer John Marcus said: 'I'm hard of hearing myself and so I know how valuable the service is. It tends to be the older folk who are not able to travel a distance that come.

'You try to be clear and set people at ease because some come and are tense about hearing loss.'

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter