“I have been exceptionally fortunate in being able to spend most of my working life doing what I love doing – making a difference to people’s lives. Initially this was as a community development officer working at local level, helping communities respond to challenges around them. This involved setting up new organisations as well as supporting existing ones. This led to becoming a development officer for Age Concern Scotland (now Age Scotland).
During my 30 years with them I had a number of roles, ultimately Head of Policy and Public Affairs. My more gratifying achievement in that role was to campaign for and secure the Adult Support & Protection (Scotland) Act 2007. Something which is still protecting vulnerable people across Scotland. The last 5 years of my working life were with Prostate Cancer UK, initially as Head of Scotland Operations and then Associate Director Community Services for the whole of the UK. I was drawn to that role through personal interest in the disease which affects my family. Likewise I have had a long term interest in hearing loss having suffered hearing loss initially in my 30’s.
I served for three years on the Action on Hearing Loss Advisory Committee before joining Dumfries & Galloway Hard of Hearing Group a couple of years ago. I am honoured to have been elected as Chairman of this wonderful organisation and am committed to bring any knowledge and experience I have to that role.”
Hello, my name is Stuart and I live in Dumfries. My day job consists of providing advice and support to businesses. I decided to join the Dumfries and Galloway Hard of Hearing Group in order to hopefully advise and contribute to the charity. For me there is no task to small and hopefully I can help in anyway I can. I continue to be encouraged by the commitment and energy of the staff and volunteers have towards supporting those with hearing loss across the region. We have a fantastic group of individuals to make a genuine impact to the local community.”
Having just turned 60, though still feel and sometimes act like I’m in my 20s, and being forced to semi retire for health reasons, I unexpectedly found myself with that rare precious commodity – time.
After visiting and using the services of my local drop in to get a tube for an aid, and after chatting to the volunteer, I signed up. It was clear I could be useful here!
I have had hearing related issues since birth and now wear a BAHA (bone anchored hearing aid) so am well acquainted with the whole world of hearing loss.
It’s now been over 12 months and it’s just become so much clearer how valuable the service that we offer is. For someone to come to a centre feeling frustrated because their aid “isn’t working”, to go out with a smile on their face for the sake of a new tube – priceless!
I also have other skills learnt over the years that can be utilised to help keep the DGHHG going and expanding so accepted a request for me to join the board. And I’m honoured to do so.
“I have been involved with the group for a couple of years as a volunteer maintaining hearing aids in 3 clinics. I have recently joined the board as I believe this is a great group and I wanted to get involved with the mechanics of running such a group. I find it very satisfying on a personal level and also on a level that I am able to help support people in my local community with hearing loss.”
Trustee from Action on Hearing Loss
I have always worked within the health arena but in a wide variety of roles. This has included working in hospital laboratories and in specialised research into cancer. For most of my career I worked for several large pharmaceutical companies as an account manager covering most of Scotland and Northern Ireland.
When I decided to have another career change I wanted to remain within the health arena and as a hearing aid user myself Action on Hearing Loss seemed a perfect fit. As a Hearing Forces Project Officer I work with veterans of the armed forces aged over 65 alongside other partner charities. This work has proved both satisfying and interesting as I get a chance hear their life stories.
“Hi there, I’m Jenny! I work as a Youth Information Worker for Dumfries and Galloway Council. As someone with a hearing loss and grew up in a deaf household, the rights and wellbeing of those with a hearing loss is essential to me. I have previously worked with ITV (Fixers), BBC (See, Hear) National Deaf Children Society, and various magazines/newspapers to create media content promoting Deaf Awareness.
I wanted to become a trustee for this hugely valuable charity as it’s a lifeline for so many who require not only hearing equipment and advice, but comradery and support.
I also hope to help the Dumfries and Galloway Hard of Hearing group branch out so we can help support young people with a hearing loss.”