Our Tinnitus Support Group was formed in March 1986 when a group of people who were experiencing tinnitus decided to meet on a regular basis to exchange coping ideas and to support each other. We were encouraged and supported by Margot Boss, Hearing Therapist at Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Royal Hospital, who had previously met with each of us and talked through our tinnitus experiences. At our first meeting we organised ourselves into various roles so that we could function efficiently.
As the years went on new members joined and others moved on. When Margot left to bring up her family, Claire Roberts took over and she too was very supportive. They both retired in 2016. In 2006 it became apparent that we needed further help in order to continue to support people and this is when Joanne Gordon who is Co-ordinator of the Trade Union Safety Team (TRUST) – a voluntary organisation that helps and supports anyone with an industrial illness or injury, came to our rescue.
We needed someone who could co-ordinate our group on a voluntary basis and provide us with some space in an office and equipment to work with. She was happy to do so providing her management committee approved. Fortunately for us they did and we have grown in strength over the years. Although under the ‘umbrella’ of TRUST, we work autonomously and provide a support service to everyone who seeks our help.
Our Support Today
We have a good membership including Facebook members and a small, but active team. We are all voluntary. It has been sheer determination to continue over the years as we have never had any core funding. However, we are happy to have continued support from two Senior Audiologists at Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Royal Hospital – Debi Alvey and Jodie Rogers whose support continues with the same expertise and enthusiasm as we have received over the years.
Conferences and Events
We also aim to be proactive as we raise awareness about the effects of excessive loud noise on our hearing system and especially to inform young people. Our links with TRUST also enables us to attend and promote our group at health and safety conferences and other events.
We also undertake Outreaches at various locations, including libraries, where we can reach out to a wider community within Derbyshire to offer help and support.
Our team consists of Tinnitus Counsellors/Advisors:
- Audrey Carlin, Tinnitus Lay Counsellor, trained by the British Tinnitus Association (BTA) and who experiences tinnitus
- Joy Lunn, Tinnitus Advisor, BTA trained. She too experiences tinnitus
- Joanne Gordon, Tinnitus Advisor, BTA trained. Who has experience as a family member with knowledge of tinnitus from a young age.
Our current Committee Members:
- Joanne Gordon (Chair)
- Sarah Walters (Treasurer)
- Audrey Carlin (Secretary)
- Joy Lunn
- Muriel Lascelles
- Philip Wheelhouse
With no core funding, the team work cohesively and efficiently to provide a good service. The only funding we get is through Bids for specific projects and through group membership and fundraising events.