Like everyone across the country, all of us at RNID are shocked and saddened by the murder of Sir David Amess MP.
David was a long-term supporter of our cause and we have always been grateful for the efforts and advice that he gave to us. Whenever David met with us or attended our events, he would always talk energetically and with real engagement about our work. He was, without doubt, one of the biggest and most memorable personalities in Westminster.
One particular occasion with David stands out for us.
In January 2018, David offered to host an event on our behalf in his constituency office. David of course wanted to know what we could do directly to support his constituents. We told him about our Hear to Inform and Connect project to provide hearing checks in the community. Straight away he said we should run an event in Southend with him.
On the day of the event, we explained to David that the project also involved going into care homes to provide advice and hearing checks to their residents. Knowing there was a care home just across the road, he marched one of our staff members over and talked the duty-manager into allowing us in to offer support to the residents. His direct, can-do attitude meant that we were able to provide hearing checks to 20 residents, identify those who needed a full assessment and offer advice to residents and staff on managing deafness.
He saw an opportunity to make life a little better some of his constituents, and he took it forward with enthusiasm and a smile on his face.
David’s support was exceptional and memorable. At this difficult and tragic moment, it also feels important to point out that it wasn’t unique, but was typical of the commitment that we find when we engage with MPs about our cause. The ability for MPs to freely and safely serve their constituents is something that we value as a campaigning organisation.
All of us at RNID offer our sympathy and condolences to David’s family, friends and colleagues.