Horsham’s independent hearing healthcare practice, South East Hearing Care Centre, in the Bishopric, is offering help to ex-armed forces personnel with hearing difficulties.
In conjunction with Help For Heroes and hearing instrument manufacturer Phonak, it is offering free, state-of-the art hearing instruments to veteran British servicemen and women who have been discharged from the army due to damaged hearing in recent conflicts.
As well as a choice of cutting edge hearing instruments, eligible veteran servicemen and women will be given free instrument fitting and a series of follow up appointments from members of the Association of Independent Healthcare Professionals (AIHHP) within the scheme’s guidelines.
The 9,500 British troops currently stationed in Afghanistan are regularly exposed to the blast of guns or ‘medium’ explosions measuring 140 decibels (dB) – far exceeding the noise level of 85 dB at which hearing damage can occur. As a result of this noise exposure, troops are at a high risk of suffering severe and even permanent hearing damage.
Rob Davies, current chair of AIHHP, said: “AIHHP is extremely proud to have joined forces with one of the world’s leading manufacturers, Phonak, to support Help for Heroes. With our shared ethos of providing high quality hearing care to the whole community, this collaboration ensures we can support our wounded heroes.”
Head of welfare at Help for Heroes, Kathy Knell, said: “The new partnership with Phonak and AIHHP is a very positive step which will help a lot of returning troops.
“Addressing hearing loss gives people the ability and confidence to hear clearly and improve their overall quality of life.”
As well as being chair of AIHHP, Mr Davies – a well-known local figure and keen Rotarian - is resident audiologist at South East Hearing Care Centre.
He said: “It is a privilege to have this opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of our brave Service men and women and we welcome them to our centre.”
For more information visit www.hearingadvisor.co.uk or www.aihhp.org