In September last year, BigLotteryWales awarded us a grant of nearly £9,000 to run tinnitus support group facilitation  training for 27 people in order to set up 9 new tinnitus support groups across Wales.

With the help of Wales Council for Deaf People, our Support Group Manager Colette has so far delivered four training sessions in Wrexham, Colwyn Bay, Swansea and Aberystwyth for 25 people (and one gate-crashing cat…don’t ask!). 

Human attendees have included local audiologists, people from local and national hearing/sensory impairment charities, hard of hearing groups, hosts of large Facebook support groups, lip-reading tutors, local volunteers, community agents and people working with deaf students.

Two of these four sessions took place during our isolation-themed Tinnitus Week. A rather fitting time to do it since support groups are a great way to meet and learn from others who experience the condition.

Feedback from attendees

Colette asked attendees how confident they were to speak with people about their tinnitus before and after the training and on average their confidence raised from a 5 to a 9 out of 10. 20% of them have said they would like the BTA’s help to set up a tinnitus group in their area. Attendees shared other ways that they would use the training going forward:

“I feel we are now part of a bigger network - our own sense of belonging.”

“I will use the knowledge within the school classroom. It will help children to manage and I can help to provide support.”

“I will use the training as part of my job with Blind Veterans. I will be able to offer helpful advice regarding signposting. Also relaxation sessions.”

“Information I've learnt from today’s training will help me when clients visit out resource centre e.g. equipment, signposting”

“[I] will read up more and look into alternative therapies”

“To advertise in places where I work/socialise with [the] deaf community.”

Outcome

So far two new tinnitus groups have formed as a result of the training in Barry and Swansea, with two more on the horizon in Aberystwyth and Cardigan.

Do you live in Wales?

We would love to speak with you if you might be interested in setting up a support group where you live! Please get in touch with Colette by either:

Email: [email protected] Phone: 0114 250 9933 ext. 1003