A TEAM of North Wales hearing aid support volunteers have received an award.

Audiology Hearing Aid Support Volunteers received the ‘Outstanding Voluntary Contribution’ Award at this year’s Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s Achievement Awards.

The volunteer service is available to all adults with NHS hearing aids in North Wales, and is supported by the Audiology Department but run by volunteers. This service adds value to the Audiology Service by providing peer support and practical support.

The volunteers have set up regular drop in clinics for patients in their local communities. These clinics are now available in over 30 locations across North Wales.

The drop in service enables volunteers to support patients with retubing of earmoulds, minor hearing aid servicing, battery replacement and cleaning of earmoulds.

In addition to this volunteers provide support for individuals, carers and families in hearing aid maintenance and use, support in coping with hearing difficulties, tips on useful communication strategies and signposting to other services as needed.

The volunteers also visit people who are unable to reach the clinics in their own homes for the regular hearing aid maintenance, and are also involved in supporting hearing aid patients in care homes.

Susannah Goggins, Principal Clinical Scientist at BCUHB’s Audiology department, nominated the volunteers for the award.

She said: “On average the volunteers see 226 patients at drop in community sessions per month across North Wales and carry out 53 visits per month in people's homes.

“They bring such enthusiasm to the role, sharing their experiences of hearing loss and how they overcome challenges. As a result, those in North Wales with NHS hearing aids benefit from the lived experiences of others, boosting confidence, increasing independence and improving quality of life for them and those around them.”

The awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of NHS staff from across North Wales.