About Hear Together

Hear Together officially became a registered charity in April 2020. Just as we ‘opened up’, the whole world went into ‘lockdown’ as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Undaunted, our journey has taken us online and we are a fast-growing community of children, adults, families and professionals.

Our focus is on community-based support and information as well as social, learning and well-being activities to bring people together. Our online socials for children, teenagers and adults are thriving and we will have our Hear2Help service up and running soon!

Our experienced team have worked with deaf and hard-of-hearing people for many years providing hearing loss support. We are passionate about living well with hearing loss and are strong advocates for the importance of people connecting and communicating with each other.

We welcome children and adults with any type of hearing loss and are part of the wider community of organisations working to meet the needs of a range of individuals and their families.

The Hear Together team have all been involved with The Ear Foundation charity. The Ear Foundation was a driving force in many important changes for deaf people over the past 30 years, not only in the UK, but also internationally. Hear Together is proud to carry forward the legacy of The Ear Foundation.

 

 

 

Meet the Team

charity for deaf people in NottinghamshireSarah Allen

Sarah started work as a Speech and Language Therapist in 1989 and joined the Nottingham Paediatric Cochlear Implant Programme (now NAIP) in 1992. She went on to work as Specialist Advisor for hearing impairment in Nottingham from 1999-2015. During this time, she completed a Masters degree in Research Methods. Following a secondment to the NIHR Biomedical Research Unit for Hearing, she joined The Ear Foundation as Research Lead and subsequently as Chief Executive. Sarah is currently a practising SLT for Derbyshire Community Health Service NHS Foundation Trust as well as Co-ordinator of Hear Together.

Diana Harbor

Diana is dual trained as a Speech and Language Therapist and Audiological Scientist; she is also a registered Educational Audiologist with RCCP. She started work as an audiologist and research associate in 1999, working for the MRC Institute of Hearing Research. In 2001 she joined the Nottingham Paediatric Cochlear Implant Programme (now NAIP) as a specialist speech and language therapist. In 2006 Diana joined the growing team at The Ear Foundation developing the education programme, delivering courses and creating education resources. She also co-led activities and summer residentials for teenagers with hearing loss. Diana is currently a practising educational audiologist and SLT for Leicester City SEND service, runs her independent SLT practice, Khuluma and is a Project Manager at Hear Together.

 

Laura Ainsworth

Laura has always had an interest in deafness as her father was profoundly deaf so she grew up using British Sign Language with lots of involvement in the deaf community. She started working at the Nottingham Cochlear Implant Programme (now NAIP) in 2004, where she trained and worked as an Associate Audiologist for eight years. She began working for Action on Hearing Loss (now RNID) in 2012 setting up the Hear2Help project in Nottinghamshire. This service was taken on by The Ear Foundation in 2014 with Laura leading it as Community Support Coordinator and later as Adult Lead. Laura now works for Hear Together as a Project Manager.

Clare Allen

Clare has worked as a Speech and Language Therapist with children with hearing loss since1988, completing the specialist MSc and Advanced Clinical Studies Diploma, Speech Therapy with Deaf Children in 1995.  In 1996 she joined the Nottingham Paediatric Cochlear Implant Programme (now NAIP) developing a specialist interest in speech intelligibility. Her passion for developing resources led to writing LEAPing on with Language, a programme for parents to accelerate spoken language from simple sentences to complex abstract language.  In 2015 she joined The Ear Foundation leading the Family services, which were inspected by Ofsted as Outstanding in all areas for 4 consecutive years. She also led the nationally recognised multi-disciplinary assessment team as part of The Ear Foundation Sound Advice service.  She currently works at the Royal School for the Deaf, Derby and is a Project Lead with the Hear Together team, loving Connecting and Communicating with children, young people and their families.


Our Trustees

Nick Tedd

I’m Nick Tedd & I’m delighted to be part of Hear Together on the board of trustees. 

I’m an Artist, Blogger & I own 3 hair salons. I blog about my adventures living with hearing loss at work, rest & play, the setbacks and misunderstandings I have encountered & what I have done to overcome these and the possibilities that have opened up for me. 

I see myself as am an ambassador for the hearing loss community & am more determined than ever to succeed at life & have positive experiences. My role as a Hear Together Trustee is very important to me to leave things better for others and myself ‘next time’. I will never stop striving, even when I can feel lonely, alienated, isolated, vulnerable and even discriminated against. I love to explore the world as an urban explorer who will not be inhibited by the opinions of others. I have not only survived but thrived and found a new self confidence that has not only empowered me as a deaf person, but also in my everyday life. As a result of all this, I no longer see myself as ‘the problem’, I only see barriers that need to be overcome. The main barriers are people’s perceptions, opinions and attitudes. I want to connect, share & learn with others by documenting what I know for sure about life, travel, food, hair, creativity, the arts & causes I am passionate about like hidden disabilities & LGBTQ issues. 

It is my intention to bring my experience and stories to Hear Together so that other people with hearing loss can see that we are not alone & that the more awareness & education we can give people the better it will be for us all.

Julie Mather

My name is Julie Mather.  It has been my privilege to work as a teacher of the deaf in Nottinghamshire for forty years now and I have also been lucky enough to work for The Ear Foundation for a number of years in a variety of different roles.   

Easy and fluent communication is something most of us take for granted. Cochlear implants and digital hearing aids have brought great benefits to lots of deaf people but there are still many, often unseen, challenges associated with deafness.

I am delighted to become a trustee of the new charity, Hear Together.  The team is composed of incredibly knowledgeable, creative, and positive people who, I know, will make a real difference in helping deaf people to connect with each other and live well with hearing loss.  I look forward to supporting this team and seeing the difference that I know they will make.  

Claire Page

My name is Claire Page. I have become a hearing aid user as an adult and I have been surprised at how challenging the whole experience has been, not least because hearing loss is not obvious to others, but also because its impact can vary so much from day to day depending on the environment, who I am talking to and even the weather!

I am keen for everyone to have the best possible opportunity to communicate effectively with others, to live well and participate fully in life. Hearing loss support services are important, but it's also about educating others about the impact of hearing loss and how they can help. I have felt the pain of someone saying 'oh, it doesn't matter' when I have asked them to repeat themselves several times. That sense of isolation can be massive.

I work as an internal auditor in the NHS, helping to make improvements in systems of governance, risk management and internal control. I am excited to have the opportunity to be involved with Hear Together and to use my own skills and experiences to help shape the services on offer.

 

Our Volunteers

charity for deaf people in Nottinghamshire

Sophie Probert

Hi, I’m Sophie! I’ve been involved in the Deaf community my whole life! I’m currently working in a secondary school as a CSW. Hopefully in a year I will be a qualified interpreter as I’m training right now. I love volunteering with Hear Together because it’s amazing to see the children develop and get to know each other and us. They become more confident as each session goes on and it’s fantastic to see!

charity for deaf people in Nottinghamshire

Robert Braithwaite

I have been deaf since birth and wear bilateral cochlear implants. I am currently at university studying zoo management and want to work in a zoo or do wildlife conservation abroad in the future. I enjoy being a Leader with Hear Together because I get to meet other deaf people and build friendships as well as helping children with their confidence.

charity for deaf people in Nottinghamshire

Di Crisp

Di started to lose her hearing when she was 5 years old due to measles and has always been a consistent user of hearing aids. She worked as a dental nurse for the NHS and ever since retiring has been a volunteer for Hear Together. Di is a valued member of our team and helps us run the adult services, using her own experiences to help support others.

charity for deaf people in Nottinghamshire

Mel Smith

My name is Mel and I am a cochlear implant user. I was plunged into deafness in my early 20’s  which coincided with a diagnosis of MS and practically overnight I had to learn to navigate a new, frightening world with mobility problems and difficulty understanding speech; a frightening and bewildering time After using the adult services at The Ear Foundation, I gained enough confidence to get involved with the Hear2help service, and enjoyed enormously meeting and talking to users, offering advice, support and encouragement when they presented with worries and concerns. I would love to have opportunities to further develop my volunteer role with Hear Together in any way I can. This is a fantastic new charity and I know it will achieve many great things in its quest to make deafness as positive an experience as possible for children and adults. 

 charity for deaf people in Nottinghamshire

Dave Gould

Hi my name's Dave Gould. Here's me walking with my dog Dougie and my daughter Eva in the Peak District. I enjoy exploring new places, spending time with my family, playing the guitar and using sign language to support young people at Allestree Woodlands school in Derby and at Hear Together events. 

 

 


 

 

If you'd like to find out more about our hearing loss support services in Nottingham and surrounding areas or to get involved with our charity as a volunteer or to raise funds, please contact us here.