Old name, new purpose: why we’ve gone back to RNID

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A gift of hope to people like June who will struggle with hearing loss this Christmas

RNID, the leading charity working to make life fully inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss and tinnitus, is calling on the public to make a very special Christmas gift – to help fund essential research and services and give people hope for a better future.

As one in five people in the UK have hearing loss, RNID is asking to help end loneliness for those who may be struggling this Christmas. June Hughes, 62, from Yorkshire, who has hearing loss explains what Christmas is like for her:

“My hearing loss is moderate to severe and I feel it is getting progressively worse as time passes. I have tinnitus in both ears. In my left ear it’s severe. It’s a loud droning, and sounds like I have a hoover on permanently in my head and this also impacts on my hearing ability. My hearing loss is hereditary and age-related. My maternal grandmother was very deaf. My mother also suffered with hearing loss but not quite as badly as her mother, and my sister has hearing loss and tinnitus.”

“I’ll be honest with you. I’m not looking forward to Christmas. For me, it’s a nightmare time of year, and that’s all because of my hearing loss. Christmas is a magical time for children and I have four lovely grandchildren but, sadly, I struggle to hear what any of them say to me. It upsets me most at Christmas time. I know I should feel lucky to be with my family at this special time of year, but in gatherings of more than three or four people, I find it really difficult to hear. The whole thing just makes me feel isolated and alone. And, this year, coronavirus has made things worse than ever.”

“Christmas shopping is especially hard. I find shopping difficult at the best of times but, with everyone in the shops now wearing face coverings, trying to understand what people are saying is utterly exhausting.”

She adds: “I’d be over the moon if I could hear again. I used to love being cosy at home and listening to rain on the windows. It sounds like such a small thing, but I miss it so much. I have seen my grandmother, my mother and my sister all struggle with hearing loss. You never know when it could affect you or your loved ones.”

“If research could help people like me regain their hearing, that would be tremendous. Being able to join in with the excitement of my grandchildren on Christmas morning would mean so much to me. I’m doing everything I can to support research that could one day lead to incredible treatments. I really hope people will make a donation today to RNID that could help pay for even more life-changing research. Your kindness could mean that, one day, people like me won’t feel left out at Christmas – or at any other time. I and many others would be extremely grateful. So many lives could be transformed and enriched.”

Dr Dan Jagger at University College London is leading one of the exciting projects that RNID are funding. The aim of Dr Jagger’s project is to find new ways to manipulate the blood flow within key tissues of the inner ear, using drugs or genetic therapies. This is important because interruptions of the blood supply may sometimes be the cause of sudden hearing loss. If the research is successful, it could lead to new treatments that will transform the lives of thousands of people with hearing loss.

Dr Ralph Holme, Executive Director of Research at RNID, said: “This year has been a very different year to what we all imagined. Along with a global pandemic we’ve decided to go back to our roots and become RNID once again. It’s a new beginning for us and, although we look a bit different, our work remains the same. With your help, we provide essential services for people who are deaf, have hearing loss and tinnitus. You help us fund research that is constantly looking for new and better treatments. Together we campaign to make society more inclusive. Your amazing support makes all of this possible.”

Your donation will help the RNID to make life fully inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus. Please give today.

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Notes to editors

The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) is the national charity making life fully inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus. Together, we campaign for an inclusive society. We connect people to practical advice and pioneer new treatments for hearing loss and tinnitus.