Help is at hand for local families who are struggling with a child with a hearing loss.
Mum-of-two Vicki Parke found out her first born child Maisie had severe hearing loss when she failed her NHS new-born hearing screening programme at one day old.
Like 90 per cent of deaf children, Maisie was born into a hearing family with no experience of deafness or what it meant for her future.
The Parke family got in touch with the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) and through them met other families in their local area with deaf children. With the help of the NDCS and other parents it was decided to form a local deaf children’s society - The Hearing Hub.
The Hearing Hub was founded in July 2012 and covers a wide area including Newtownabbey, Larne and Carrickfergus.
The main aim of the society is to bring together deaf children and their families for support, freindship, to learn new skills, share experiences and to show people that the only thing a deaf child can’t do is hear.
As most deaf children are educated in mainstream schools, its hoped that The Hearing Hub will enable deaf children to establish friendships with other deaf children so they don’t grow up feeling different.
To raise funds, a charity dance is being held in Blue Circle Club, Magheramorne on Saturday, June 22 from 8pm-late. Music by Country Harmony and Boxcar Brian. Tickets from Larne TIC, McDowell’s of Gleno and Beatties, Ballycarry.