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February 15, 2012 11:19 AM

Alan BeithBerwick MP, Sir Alan Beith, is urging constituents who wear NHS hearing aids to get essential follow-up support at local drop-in sessions run by Action on Hearing Loss's pioneering Hear to Help project.

Sir Alan visited a drop-in at King James Court in Berwick upon Tweed to see the life-changing work of the charity's volunteers, who provide free one-to-one support to help people get the best performance from their hearing aids so they can hear everyday conversations with friends and family more clearly.

Volunteers give tips on how to replace tubing and batteries as well as adjusting hearing aids to make them more comfortable. This basic support can often make the difference between someone persevering with their hearing aids or giving up and leaving them in a drawer and cutting themselves off from their local community.

Sir Alan Beith MP said: "It takes an average of 10 years for someone to act on their hearing loss and get fitted with a hearing aid. Although hearing aids can transform people's hearing and quality of life, some people experience initial difficulties and give up using them.

"I'm delighted to visit Action on Hearing Loss's Hear to Help project in Berwick upon Tweed to see the tremendous work of the volunteers providing essential support for hearing aid wearers. It's fantastic to see how basic support can greatly improve the performance of hearing aids and help people to hear much more clearly and remain active in the community."

Community Support Officer for Action on Hearing Loss, Jackie Whyte says: "We greatly appreciate Sir Alan Beith MP's support for our vital work supporting people with hearing loss in relaxed, friendly community settings. We look forward to seeing many more of his constituents dropping-in to our sessions and discovering how, with simple adjustment to their hearing aids, they can follow everyday conversations with friends, family and neighbours."

Hear to Help is currently funded by The Co-operative and run by Action on Hearing Loss in partnership with NHS North of Tyne.