Northumberland volunteer honoured for life-changing work

Michael Holroyd (right) with his Action on Hearing Loss Award, being presented by Paul Breckell (left), Chief Executive of Action on Hearing Loss.
Michael Holroyd (right) with his Action on Hearing Loss Award, being presented by Paul Breckell (left), Chief Executive of Action on Hearing Loss.

A volunteer from Northumberland has been honoured for his life-changing work with deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

Action on Hearing Loss helper Michael Holroyd, from Alnwick, was presented with the People’s Champion award, in recognition of his tireless commitment helping to run drop-in clinics in north Northumberland.

The clinics offer local people who have hearing loss the opportunity to have their NHS hearing aids maintained regularly, collect new batteries and gain information about their hearing loss.

Michael has been a volunteer for three years and is a reliable, enthusiastic and well-respected member of the team. Each month he covers Hear to Help drop-ins at Alnwick, Amble, Rothbury, Ponteland, and Cramlington – as well as visiting three care homes/sheltered housing in Cramlington. Mike will also cover other venues in north and central Northumberland if needed, such as Belford and Morpeth.

He was presented with his award at the Action of Hearing Loss Regional Volunteer Awards ceremony, which was held in Northumberland.

Michael said: "Volunteering with Action on Hearing Loss is tremendously rewarding and enjoyable being able to help improve the lives of deaf and hard of hearing people in my local area. I really appreciate winning this award and am happy I have helped such a worthwhile charity make a real difference to local people."

Anne Shilton, Action on Hearing Loss Community Support Officer, said: "Mike has a cheerful manner and can make the people who use our services feel at ease and comfortable in often-unfamiliar surroundings. The service has been greatly enhanced by Mike’s volunteering. The knowledge he’s gained over the years – building on what he learned during his working life, has benefited everyone: staff, other volunteers and people who use our services. He’s encouraging and supportive to everyone. We’re so pleased he’s won this award."

Michael is one of 1,400 volunteers across the UK recognised by Action on Hearing Loss as part of its annual Volunteer Awards programme. The charity runs free community services and specialist care homes across the UK to support people who are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus. Almost two-thirds of people working with the charity are volunteers.

Action on Hearing Loss’ Volunteer Manager, Kelly Broome, said: "Volunteers are the backbone of Action on Hearing Loss and we wouldn’t be the charity we are today without them. We are delighted to recognise the endless enthusiasm and inspiring work that Michael has shown. These star volunteers not only show their commitment in dedicating their valuable time, but they bring a diverse range of skills and boundless energy that are so vital to our success."

Action on Hearing Loss is currently seeking volunteers for a range of activities, such as fund-raising, support for hearing aid wearers and much more. For information about current opportunities, contact Sandra Welburn, Action on Hearing Loss Regional Volunteer Manager on 01670 504290 or email volunteering@hearingloss.org.uk