Speech and Hearing

Did you know that one out of every six people in your local community is unable to hear clearly what is being said to them, or cannot communicate as they’d wish with you because of hearing impairments?

Helping those who are hearing impaired within Lions Clubs dates back to an initiative, the Hearing Trust, that was set up by members in East Anglia in 2003. This led to the formation of a national project, the Hearing Forum which enables deaf aware training to be provided to members of the hearing community throughout the British Isles and Ireland, alongside resources that help improve the quality of life of deaf people.

Lions Speech Aids also help those with hearing impairments. These devices have been redesigned and improved over time, including the option of a remote switch version for those with additional physical difficulties. Around 60 additional people are helped by the Speech Aids each year, which are purchased by NHS Trusts with several Speech & Language Therapy departments offering short-term loans. In addition, they are bought by charities (such as the Parkinson’s Disease Society) as well as individuals, friends/relatives of ‘whispered speech’ sufferers, and Lions Clubs.

Lions Clubs collect unwanted, or broken, analogue and digital hearing aids and audiological equipment from individuals, audiologists, hearing retail outlets and hospitals. Since May 2015, Lions have collected almost 90,000 hearing aids and ancillary items.

Dr Michael Nolan of the Starkey Hearing Foundation receives donations for sorting and refurbishment. Adults and children with hearing impairment whose lives have been transformed after receiving recycled hearing equipment live in countries including: Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Senegal, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Lesotho, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zanzibar, Madagascar, Ukraine, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, China, Philippines and Papua New Guinea