Who we are and what we do:
Hi Kent is the registered charity for people with a hearing loss in Kent currently helping over 70,000 people every year. Our experienced team of skilled professionals support those who struggle to live with a hearing loss, providing day to day help and advice. People who are deaf or hard of hearing feel constantly isolated, frustrated and embarrassed by their hearing loss but there are many ways in which help can be given, including learning the amazing skill of lipreading. This link on our website shows more information: https://hikent.org.uk/pages/lip-reading and a short sub-titled film of our lipreading classes in a pre-Coronavirus classroom setting.
The project we are fundraising for:
The money Hi Kent raises will be used to provide as many online Lipreading Classes as possible for the people of Kent whose lives are limited every day by their hearing loss, and will help them to retain their independence and lessen their feeling of isolation.
How Coronavirus has made Lipreading Classes even more in demand:
The problems of people living with hearing loss have increased during the Coronavirus pandemic - their existing isolation has worsened and Hi Kent has been inundated with contact from deaf and hard of hearing residents who wish to join a Lipreading Class from this September. Due to ongoing need for social distancing in venues where Hi Kent would normally hold Lipreading Classes, which would severely reduce the number of students who could be physically accommodated in Classes, Hi Kent has decided to teach Lipreading Classes for the year 2020-2021 online using Zoom. This decision will enable us to increase both the number of students in our Classes and the number of Classes being held and also give a greater flexibility of both daytime and evening Classes to accommodate the significant additional demand.
Who will benefit from these Classes:
The people we help have typically become increasingly isolated by their worsening deafness, and many people suffering from hearing loss make excuses not to go out or attend family and other social gatherings, because they are embarrassed by their hearing loss and not being able to communicate and quickly become marginalised. In many cases they are aware of other people's lack of patience and understanding when they are asked to repeat what they have said.
Our Team of Skilled Lipreading Tutors:
Classes will be taught by our team of experienced and qualified Teachers of Lipreading to Adults, and each weekly class will run for approximately ninety minutes.
Who will benefit:
The Classes will not only directly benefit the local residents living with a hearing loss, but also their families, colleagues and community. Participants benefit from not only the content of the Classes but also the peer support of being with others in a group who are in the same position, with the added benefit of being able to swap experiences and coping strategies, and often new friendships are formed.
“This class is a life saver to those of us with a hearing problem and to be able to communicate within class and with others. I do not feel so isolated from the hearing world we live in."
“The skills and tips are made very easy and fun to learn and have practical application and a sense of camaraderie has developed... Thank you for letting me join the group, it is an honour to join such tenacious individuals!"
"It is nice to have achieved my goal and I have got so much confidence when out and about with people. To be told by people perhaps in a shop, etc., that I follow conversations very well shows me how the classes are making a difference to my life."
Please help Hi Kent to fulfil this pledge to give people with a hearing loss the opportunity to learn the amazing and often life-changing skill of lipreading!