Our meeting on Wednesday 23 November 2022 was an online meeting with a Rotarian Speaker from Hearing Ambassadors (https://www.hearingambassadors.org), a Rotary Supported Charity dealing with the issue of hearing loss. But before our speaker addressed the club, there were various items of news to announce.
There was good news for one member whose antibody count had been incorrectly tested previously, and will now be able to return to our face to face meetings. There was also good news on the Publicity front as the Club had appeared again in the local newspaper. There had also been several interesting visits to other local Clubs
Our speaker, Gill Campbell of the Rotary e-Club in District 1220, then ‘took the floor’, but had to start with an apology for her co-speaker, Rotarian Andrew Campbell of the Rotary Club of Hope Valley, who had gone down with Covid that day. Gill conducted a lively session, with much audience participation on the subject of hearing loss. This was of particular interest to the Campbells as Andrew had lost about 70% of his hearing overnight whilst suffering from a virus 9 years ago.
Most people in the United Kingdom are unaware of the extent of hearing loss in the population, and are unaware of the consequences of the upwards trend in the numbers. Gill demonstrated just how much more those with good hearing can gain from listening to a sound clip compared to those with little or no hearing.
Gill also gave us an analysis of the effect that the layout and the interior decoration of a meeting room can have on the ability of those with hearing loss to understand what is being said, and to play a full part in a meeting.
It is not just the level of sound that does damage, but also the duration, we learned. We were introduced to a free App that measures the level of noise and its duration. It may be too late for the older population to turn back the clock, but it is not too late for school children. Gill provided an explanation of how hearing works with this short video prepared by Hearing Ambassadors for school children. Hearing Ambassadors have launched Sound Warriors Clubs in primary schools because they have the opportunity to reverse the trend. After all, prevention will surely prove more advantageous than provision of hearing aids in the long run. Without similar efforts across the nation, it is estimated that 1 in 4 of the population will be suffering hearing loss by 2050. There is a short video from Sound Warriors here.
This was a fascinating talk with many facts to digest, and a clear call to action for the Club in its local schools. It led to many questions from the meeting.
Next week (30 November 2022), the Club is having a scatter meeting and will have reports on the various meetings the following week.