1 in 6 people in Scotland have a hearing impairment . You will know someone who has it, or may have hearing loss yourself.
In Midlothian we have recently introduced the hearing aid battery pick up points in all our local libraries. This has been a huge success. It draws people into Libraries, to interact with staff and other members of the community and makes them aware of the wide range of activities which are on offer there. This saves time and money for people, reduces social isolation and eases pressure on the over-stretched staff in Audiology in Edinburgh. It means fewer hearing aids lie unused in drawers, for want of a battery. It really is a win, win.
We now want to expand on this by offering repair and maintenance clinics locally too. The replacement of tubing in the hearing aid for example, is required every so often. It is not difficult to do, but it is a bit fiddly, especially for older or disabled people who are a large proportion of hearing aid users. Full training is provided prior to involvement.
We have established a clinic which runs on the first Wednesday of every month in Dalkeith Library, 10.30-11.30 am. We also have now established a clinic in Penicuik Town Hall on the last Wednesday of every month 10:30 - 11:30am. If we can recruit more volunteers, we would like to start a clinic in Gorebridge, which would involve a similar monthly commitment.
At present due to Covid-19 clinics are suspended but do get in touch if you are interested in this opportunity. Contact will then be made with volunteers once the clinics are re-opened.
Volunteers will assist with welcoming service users into the building, removing their coats, assisting them into their seats, seeing that they are comfortable and preparing/giving tea/coffee and a biscuit. A morning activity takes place until lunch. Volunteers will join in all activities. Volunteers will also assist with serving lunch. After lunch there is an afternoon activity followed by another tea/coffee and snack. At the end of the day volunteers will help service users into their coats and escort them back onto the bus.