Join us for our 60th Anniversary Fundraising Event on 11th December 2019 at Bankside Gallery

Join us for our 60th Anniversary Fundraising Event on 11th December 2019 at Bankside Gallery

2019 marks Sound Seekers’ 60th birthday! Join us on Wednesday 11th December 6pm to 8:30pm at Bankside Gallery to mark this incredible milestone.

BUY TICKETS ON EVENTBRITE HERE.

This fundraising event will be an opportunity to celebrate 60 years of Sound Seekers’ fantastic work and achievements.

There will be a silent auction (see details below to bid) and a chance to win some amazing prizes through our raffle. You can also enjoy Bankside Gallery’s latest Exhibition “Mini Picture Show” showcasing artists from the Royal Watercolour Society and the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers. Bankside Gallery are generously donating 10% of all prints sold on the night to Sound Seekers.

Please share with your friends and family and join us for drinks, delicious Senegalese canapés from Little Baobab, plus a special music performance on the night from our Ambassador; hip-hop producer, writer and performer, SignKid.

All the money raised on the night will make a huge difference to a small charity like ours, enabling more children and adults with hearing loss to access healthcare and education in Africa.

BUY TICKETS NOW via eventbrite in advance are £15 (plus booking fee), tickets bought on the door will be £20 on the day, so please order your tickets now! We look forward to seeing you there!

Thank you to our corporate partner, Specsavers, for generously sponsoring this event.

SILENT ACTION PRIZES

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we are thrilled to share with you the following items available for our silent auction. You can bid at our fundraising event at Bankside Gallery on 11th December 2019 or if you cannot attend our event, you can bid by email.

  1. Four Club Wembley Inner Circle Debenture football tickets (minimum suggested bid £400):
    • to either England V Denmark at Wembley Stadium on 31/03/2020
    • OR England’s match at Wembley Stadium on 27/03/2020 (Opposition TBC)
  2. Four Gold Debenture Cricket tickets (minimum suggested bid £300)
    • to either a T20 Vitality Blast at Lords in 2020 in the Upper Mound Stand (subject to arrangement)
    • OR a T20 Blast Fixture at the Kia Oval in 2020 in the OCS Stand (subject to arrangement)
  3. Two Centre Court Tickets to the Nature Valley International Tennis on 26/06/2020 (minimum suggested bid £150)
  4. Four exclusive tickets to the Garsington Opera for the performance of Fidelio, on 30/06/2020 (minimum suggested bid £350)
  5. 2 x family tickets to the Severn Valley Heritage Steam Railway (minimum suggested bid £50 per family ticket) 
  6. Family ticket to Amerton Railway in Staffordshire with exclusive trip on a locomotive footplate (suggested minimum bid £25)
  7. Glass mounted photograph ‘Glacial Impressions’ by Clint Singh (minimum suggested bid £150)
  8. Signed book ‘Listen World’ by Evelyn Glennie (minimum suggested bid £25)
  9. Framed Heron bird print by artist Lucy Dean (minimum suggested bid £30)
  10. Original artwork by Elaine McCracken, ‘Songline’, Oil on Canvas (minimum suggested bid £400)

To bid on items, you can email tanya@sound-seekers.org.uk with your name, contact email and phone number, with your item and the bid by SUNDAY 15th DECEMBER 2019. Those with the winning bid will be notified on Monday 16th December 2019.

We would like to thank everyone who generously donated towards our silent auction list above as well as those who contributed to our raffle prizes.
Special thanks to the following companies:
  • Boden
  • ChariTable Bookings
  • Cote Brasserie
  • Experience Days
  • MED-EL UK Ltd
  • Naked Wines
  • The Santon Group
  • Widex

Three years since becoming an Audiologist in Malawi

Three years since becoming an Audiologist in Malawi

Mwanaisha Phiri: Lead Audiologist at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre

We are pleased to share an update on one of our Audiologists in Malawi.

Mwanaisha Phiri became one of the first two Malawian Audiologists after graduating with a Masters degree in Audiological Science at the University of Manchester in December 2016, sponsored by Sound Seekers.

Three years on since qualifying and Mwanaisha now leads the team at the Audiology Clinic established at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre. These comprehensive audiology services includes clinic and outreach services, the first of it’s kind in a government hospital in Malawi, making it a leader in audiology in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mwanaisha reflects on the past three years and her experience in this vital role in Malawi:

I have been working as an audiologist for almost 3 years now after graduating from the University of Manchester in England. Audiology practice in Malawi is fun and interesting because for the past few years after graduation, I have acquired knowledge and skills in almost all the specialities within the Audiology profession such as, newborn hearing screening, basic balance assessment and management, diagnosing hearing losses and hearing aid fitting for both adults and children, switching on and mapping of the cochlear implants, organising and conducting the outreach programmes for both the communities and school hearing screening.

Additionally, I have been a coordinator and a co-author of the two recently published papers entitled: ‘Diagnostic accuracy of non-specialist versus specialist health workers in diagnosing hearing loss and ear disease in Malawi’ and secondly ‘An Intervention to Improve Uptake of Referrals for Children with Ear Disease or Hearing Loss in Thyolo District , Malawi.’

There is still more to learn and practice but I feel proud to be one of the first Audiologists in Malawi who is helping to diagnose and treat different levels of hearing loss to enable people to hear better and refer those that cannot hear either to the deaf school or a possible cochlear candidacy in Malawi.

As a Malawian Audiologist I am so excited to have helped children like Ellen, pictured below” to hear better.

Ellen Chimwaza, age 10, Malawi

“Ellen Chimwaza, a 10 year old child, was born with reduced hearing in both ears, the cause unknown as she had no history of any serious illness since birth. Ellen kept repeating grade 1 and 2 in school before she visited the Audiology Clinic at QECH in 2017.

I assessed Ellen’s hearing and diagnosed her bilateral hearing loss. I was able to fit her with her two hearing aids and the same year she passed her exam and went into grade 3. Since then she has continued to improve in class and last year she also passed her exams and is currently in Grade 4.

Ellen is now happy that she hears much better in class and at home than before.

The hearing aids have changed her life.”

 

                            

Launch of new Audiology Clinic at Arthur Davison Children’s Hospital

Launch of new Audiology Clinic at Arthur Davison Children’s Hospital

We are happy to announce the launch of our new Audiology Clinic at Arthur Davison Children’s Hospital (ADH) in Ndola, Zambia, which was officially opened on 20th June 2019. This is an incredible achievement as we celebrate the opening of a second audiology clinic in a government hospital in Zambia.

The new audiology service is fully equipped to complete hearing assessments for adults and children and includes an ear mould lab to fit hearing aids for those identified with hearing loss, which is currently being led by our volunteer Audiologist, Matt Clarkson, who has been in Ndola since February overseeing the setup of the new audiology clinic (you can read Matt’s blog on his experience volunteering here).

As part of the project, we have sponsored one of the nurses from ADH to study for a year at the University of Nairobi for a Diploma in Clinical Audiology and Public Health Otology, who will return to ADH later this year to lead the audiology services going forward.

 

We would like to say a special thank you to Jersey Overseas Aid for their generously funding this project as without their support, none of this work would be possible.

Additionally, we would like to say a massive thank you to all the team at ADH and our volunteer Audiologist Matt, for all their hard work in the set-up of the clinic.

Since the clinic opened in June, over 50 patients have already been seen and those identified with hearing loss have received the appropriate management.

Special Needs Teachers Training & After School Clubs in Ndola

Special Needs Teachers Training & After School Clubs in Ndola

In March 2019, thanks to the generous support of the British and Foreign School Society, we started a new project in the only 3 deaf units in mainstream primary schools in Ndola, Zambia. We trained 30 special needs teachers that work within these units  at Kanshenshi, Kamba and Chilengwa Primary schools to advance their Zambian Sign Language skills to improve the quality of education delivered to their deaf students.

 

As part of our new project in Ndola, Zambia, we also set up weekly after school clubs within the 3 deaf units in primary schools, led by the trained teachers and a sign language interpreter, to help teach basic sign language for mainstream students and help to improve inclusion and interaction between deaf students and mainstream students.

Please click here to read more about the project’s progress so far, celebrated during Deaf Awareness Week 2019. 

New fundraiser Ann-Marie McIntyre

New fundraiser Ann-Marie McIntyre

We are thrilled that Ann-Marie has decided to fundraise for Sound Seekers for her 2019 London Marathon Place!

Ann -Marie started running 30 years ago and now at 61 years old was able to achieve her long-term goal to get a place in the London Marathon which was granted through the Rugby & Northampton Athletics Club. Being deaf herself, she understands the importance of accessing hearing healthcare services which is why she decided to support Sound Seekers.

Please help Ann-Marie reach her target by supporting her fundraising page here.

She will be joining our 2019 London Marathon runner Emma Singer in the race.

 

Welcome our new Ambassador, Signkid

Welcome our new Ambassador, Signkid

We are so excited to announce our new Ambassador, Signkid!

Signkid is the UK’s first and only deaf music producer, writer and performer to have pioneered and developed a unique aesthetic by integrating and adapting British Sign language (BSL) signing into a visually based language suited specifically for live hip-hop music performance.

We are delighted that he is joining us to raise awareness of our work and to champion our cause.

To listen to some examples of his amazing work please click here or to read the full lyrics click here.

To read more about the Sound Seekers team please click here.

Sound Seekers 2019 London Marathon runner, Emma Singer!

Sound Seekers 2019 London Marathon runner, Emma Singer!

We are pleased to announce that Emma Singer is our London Marathon 2019 runner.

Please support Emma’s fundraising which will help people with hearing loss in Africa. She needs your support and your donations to take her closer to reaching her fundraising goal!

Please click here to be directed to Emma’s fundraising page.

 

New video of our work in Malawi

New video of our work in Malawi

To celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3rd December 2018, we are thrilled to share our latest video showcasing our work in Malawi. Please take five minutes to watch our video below to find out how our partnership with Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre is making it possible for children and adults with hearing loss in the Southern Region of Malawi to access vital hearing care services and how our recent training of Itinerant Special Needs Teachers will help more children with hearing loss like Happy and Shakira to get the support they need in school.

Sound Seekers in Malawi: Watch the moment Samuyeli hears again and find out how Shakira and Happy are progressing at school

Without your donations, none of our work would be possible.

This Christmas, please donate and help us reach more children with hearing loss like Shakira, Happy and Samueli to improve their lives.

Welcome our new CEO, Kavita Prasad

Welcome our new CEO, Kavita Prasad

June 2018 brings a big change at Sound Seekers, as we begin an exciting new chapter with a new CEO, Kavita Prasad, at the helm.

After three successful years, Emma Judge has stood down as CEO and Kavita Prasad, previously our Head of Programmes, begins her new role. Kavita has been spearheading our programmes at Sound Seekers since she joined us in January 2017, in which time we have seen our programmes go from strength to strength.

Kavita has over ten years’ experience in programme management and development and extensive technical expertise on disability inclusion, having previously worked with disability-focused organisations, including Handicap International (now Humanity and Inclusion) and Leonard Cheshire Disability.  Prior to joining Sound Seekers, Kavita was seconded by Handicap International to The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to support the mainstreaming of disability in UNRWA programmes and services.  She has a Masters’ degree in Public Health from the University of Leeds and a Bachelors’ degree in Physiotherapy and has lived and worked in South Asia and the Middle East.

We look forward to Kavita leading Sound Seekers into a new and exciting phase of growth and development.

Read more about the Sound Seekers team here.

World Hearing Day 2018: Shine’s Story

World Hearing Day 2018: Shine’s Story

On World Hearing Day 2018, March 3rd 2018, The World Health Organisation (WHO) draws attention towards the anticipated rise in the number of people with hearing loss across the world with the theme “Hear the future”.  In particular, drawing attention to the:

  • expected rise in prevalence of hearing loss globally over the coming years
  • efforts that are required to stem the rise through appropriate preventive action
  • need to ensure that people with hearing loss have access to the required rehabilitation services and the communication tools and products they require.

WHO estimates in 2018, over 466 million people live with disabling hearing loss. It is predicted that by 2050 nearly one in ten people will have hearing loss. Two thirds of people with hearing loss live in developing countries where access to audiology services is usually limited or non-existent.

Sound Seekers delivers practical solutions  to enable people with hearing loss in Africa to realise their rights and gain access to healthcare and education.

To celebrate World Hearing Day 2018 we want to share with you Shine’s heart-warming story to demonstrate the impact of our work and to ask for your help to continue our work.

Shine’s Story

Shine is three years old and had her hearing assessed for the first time last November at the new Children’s Hearing Clinic in Lusaka. Her mother brought her to the clinic due to her delayed speech but she did not realise this could be linked to hearing loss. She was first assessed by Sound Seekers Volunteer Audiologist, Bhavisha Parmar.

Bhavisha Parmar is a Paediatric Audiologist from the UK, who volunteered for Sound Seekers for a year in 2017, and is now a Special Advisor for Sound Seekers. Bhavisha set up the first Children’s Hearing Clinic in University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka last year. This is the first paediatric clinic of its kind in Zambia, which is fully equipped to assess the hearing of children at risk of hearing loss and provide the necessary hearing aid fittings, follow up and rehabilitation. Since Bhavisha left, the clinic is being led by local staff at University Teaching Hospital, and the newly training local Audiology Technician sponsored by Sound Seekers.

When Shine was first assessed, there were no risk factors for hearing loss in her medical history so Bhavisha proceeded to perform play audiometry (a technique used to test hearing of young children to respond to sounds as part of a game). The results confirmed Shine has severe Sensorineural hearing loss in both ears, normal tympanograms and absent otoacoustic emissions.

Impressions of her ears were taken to make custom ear moulds and she was fitted with brand new hearing aids (donated to Sound Seekers from Hear the World Foundation). Shine’s reaction to the sounds around her surprised Shine’s mother and Bhavisha, as Shine immediately tried vocalising to hear her own voice. Bhavisha told us:

“Shine’s name can be used to describe her smile as she was definitely a shining light in our clinic that day”

You can watch the moment Shine has her hearing aids fitted here:

 

Bhavisha taught Shine’s how to use the hearing aids and she was booked in for a follow up appointment to review Shine’s progress.

When Shine returned for her follow-up appointment at the Children’s Hearing Clinic, Shine’s mother was extremely pleased with her progress and has become very confident with inserting the hearing aids and switching them on and off.

Thanks to the Sound Seekers and Hear the World Foundation’s donated hearing aids, Shine has hearing aids that even light up to alert her mother that the battery is running low, which she is really pleased about. Shine’s mother explained to Bhavisha that Shine points at her hearing aids as soon as she wakes up and gestures that they need to be put in her ears. Data logging on the hearing aid software at her follow up appointment showed that Shine had been wearing the hearing aids for 11 hours per day! Bhavisha was thrilled about this:

“I high fived her mother as soon as I saw that she had been wearing her hearing aids for 11 hours every day since her fitting!”

When Bhavisha was examining the hearing aids and connecting them to my computer she felt a nudge from little Shine, making it very clear she just wanted them back in her ears! Aided testing showed she was getting great benefit from the hearing aids and she was very vocal in the clinic and even left saying “bye bye”.

We look forward to sharing news of Shine’s progress in the future.

“My time volunteering in Zambia for Sound Seekers has been amazing and being able to help bring out the shine in Shine has been one of the best moments”.

You can find out more the people we are supporting: https://www.sound-seekers.org.uk/who-we-help

Just £10 could enable a child to have their hearing tested. Sometimes it only takes a little to make a huge impact. Please help change the lives of more children like Shine.

To donate £10 now TEXT HEAR25 £10 to 70070

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