Hearing Link, the UK charity which supports people with hearing loss, their families and friends, has launched its Christmas Appeal.
The appeal tells the story of Hearing Link beneficiary and volunteer Craig Fisher, from Belfast in Northern Ireland.
One day, Craig decided to quit. Quit life. After living with hearing loss for years, he felt worthless, inadequate and stupid. He lived in fear of making a fool of himself, ashamed because he couldn’t hear. So much so that he literally shut himself away in his house and he didn’t leave for ten years.
His family had no idea that his self-enforced isolation was brought on by mental and emotional exhaustion. Thankfully, they found Hearing Link and he joined the charity’s Intensive Rehabilitation Programme. He met others like him, shared stories, experiences and learned new skills. Crucially, he could talk to people who helped him come to terms with his loss and accept it.
There’s been no stopping Craig since. He is so positive about his future now, engaging with his family and the world around him, and he’s really looking forward to Christmas for the first time in years.
Craig was pleased to back Hearing Link’s Christmas Appeal and hopes that by sharing his story, it will encourage others to donate to help those silently struggling with hearing loss this December.
Craig said: “I have a new-found sense of confidence that I don’t think I have ever had at any point in my life. That is thanks to the wonderful support from Hearing Link. I’m delighted to support their Christmas Appeal and hope it encourages more people to support the work of this wonderful organisation.”
Dr Lorraine Gailey, Chief Executive of Hearing Link, added: “Christmas is one the hardest times for people living with hearing loss. Often surrounded by a loving family, or the buzz of friends and work colleagues, but feeling so alone, hearing loss can strip you of the chance to join in the chatter, shop confidently for presents, or even share a cracker joke.
“It’s at this time of year, Hearing Link needs to reach out to people who are silently struggling – helping them to accept and adjust to their loss, strengthen their confidence and enable them to overcome the emotional and practical challenges they face. We are a small charity with a big job to do and by donating a little extra to our Christmas Appeal 2015, you will be helping us to reach even more people like Craig.”
To find out more or to donate to Hearing Link’s Christmas Appeal, visit https://hearinglink.org/christmas