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Hearing Link volunteer named recipient of Heather Jackson Award

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A Hearing Link volunteer has been named the Heather Jackson Award recipient for 2017
for the significant contribution she has made to the welfare of the hearing loss community
in the UK.

May Wood from Mauchline, Ayrshire, was presented with her award during a special
celebration in Edinburgh at the end of October.

The Heather Jackson Award is awarded jointly by the National Association of Deafened
People (NADP), Signature, and Hearing Link each year. It has been instituted in the
memory of Heather Jackson, the former Chairperson of NADP, who passed away in 2007.

Ross Trotter, May Wood and Lorraine Gailey

May began to lose her hearing in her twenties when she worked as a teacher. Despite
dealing with the challenges of her hearing, May has worked tirelessly to support others in
similar situations.

For five years she has worked as a volunteer for the Sensory Impaired Support Group
(SISG) in Ayrshire. She sits on the Board of SISG and mans two drop-in centres in
Cumnock and Troon which helps older people with hearing aid maintenance.

In 2014, she became a volunteer for the UK charity Hearing Link after she attended two of its specialist support courses. She now supports people through the charity’s courses and provides free, independent and personalised support through its Helpdesk.

All these qualities and more, led to May being selected as the Heather Jackson Award
recipient this year.

She was presented with her award during a celebration in Edinburgh by Ross Trotter of
NADP. May was joined by her family, colleagues and friends from Hearing Link and SISG.

May said: “I am delighted to receive the Heather Jackson Award for 2017. It is an honour
and privilege to volunteer with Hearing Link and SISG and to follow in Heather Jackson’s
footsteps by offering peer support and advice to people with hearing loss, and encouraging them to manage that loss and helping them overcome the day-to-day challenges they face. To see deafened people move forward and again enjoy participating fully with their families and friends is our reward.”

Dr Lorraine Gailey, Chief Operating Officer of Hearing Link, said: “May works tirelessly to
raise awareness of deafness and strives to ensure deafened people are integrated in their
local communities. She is such a special volunteer for Hearing Link and her personal
experiences have helped many people across all four countries of the UK. I’m delighted
she has been recognised for her exemplary work in the deafened community.”

Denise McClung, Project Manager at SISG, said: “May understands fully the difficulties
that hearing aid users experience day to day and this has enabled and equipped her to
help many people overcome barriers to communication. We at SISG are delighted that
May has received this well deserved accolade as it recognises her commitment and
dedication to helping others within the deaf community.”

For further information about the work of Hearing Link, visit www.hearinglink.org.
To find out more about SISG, go to www.sisg.co.uk.