Volunteers' Week 2021 - Day 2

Posted by Victoria Leedham

#VolunteerVoices

To celebrate #VolunteersWeek we asked a few volunteers to reflect on the past year and let us know what it's been like to volunteer during a pandemic. 
 
Today's #VolunteerVoice is Hearing Link volunteer Margaret Canning. Margaret has been a Community Support Volunteer, LinkUp Support Volunteer, and Peer Support Volunteer since 2012...

 

How important has your volunteering been to you in the last year? 

"This last year has not been like any other in my life, not being able to do the things I took for granted before. However, being able to connect with people that are hard of hearing through volunteering with Hearing Link has given me a sense of purpose and a bit of normality. It's felt good to be able to help people that have felt isolated as a result of their hearing loss.

How has your volunteering changed since the first lockdown?

Since the first lockdown my volunteer role has enabled me to connect with participants in a different way to before. Our LinkUps transferred online using Teams which worked really well and we were still able to give help and advice as needed. I have also been an email buddy to people that are thinking about or waiting for a cochlear implant - giving them support as I have experience of living with a cochlear implant.

What have you learnt from the changes?

This last year has certainly been a learning experience for Hearing Link and all its volunteers. What I have learned is that Hearing Link will always find ways to overcome any obstacles and challenges with hard work and determination to provide services, help and support to those living with hearing loss.

If any parts of your volunteering have been on hold, have you missed it or has the time gained been valuable?

Some of my volunteering is still on hold. I miss meeting people through my role as a Community Support Volunteer where I can meet people face-to-face and help them find ways to live better with their hearing loss.

The HALO (Hearing Aid Liaison Outreach) programme is also on hold. This is held at the local ENT department in my area so I am looking forward to getting back to that whenever it's possible again."

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About the author

Victoria Leedham

Hello, I’m Victoria and Head of Volunteering at Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. It’s my privilege to celebrate and share stories about our wonderful volunteer family.

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