In recognition of their volunteering service Hilary Lewis and Brian Caul, who were both been awarded MBEs at the Queen’s birthday honours in 2022, are receiving their Investiture in February and March this year.
Our volunteers make a valuable difference to people who are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus.
Hilary has severe hearing loss and started volunteering with RNID in 2010. She has contributed more than 500 hours in a variety of volunteer roles over the years, including providing deaf awareness sessions at schools, carrying out numerous home visits to people needing support with hearing aids, and building relationships with local community groups.
“I chose to volunteer with RNID because I have an empathy with those who struggle to adjust to hearing loss. I thought that by sharing my own experience of how I coped through the years after being deafened as a young mum might be helpful to others. The best thing about volunteering with RNID is the satisfaction I get from helping people by enabling better communication with their friends and family which in return reduces their isolation.”
Our volunteers are instrumental in delivering nationwide support and information to people who are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus. Their stories show what they gain from the experience, too.
Brian became a member of RNID’s Board of Trustees in 2017 and served as Chair of our Northern Ireland Advisory Group.
He has volunteered for RNID in Coleraine for more than twenty years, running a weekly information stand at Causeway Hospital, and playing an active part in helping us to reach people with hearing loss in rural and ethnic minority communities. Brian has had tinnitus for ten years, and uses his understanding of the condition to inform and support others.
“Volunteering with RNID has given me great long-lasting friendships and a strong sense of purpose. My advice to prospective volunteers would be that: you will great support from the local professional teams; that RNID will only ask you to carry out tasks that you are comfortable with and that reflect your interests and experience; and that, first and foremost, you should enjoy your time with RNID as part of a great team of volunteers.”
There are lots of ways you can get involved, such as providing support to our communities by phone or in person at one of our RNID near you centres. Click here to find a volunteer opportunity near you.