A trainee hearing aid dispenser from the Burnley store has helped improve the hearing of over 100 people living in India, describing her trip last month as a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience.
Sharon Griffiths, who is currently studying for a foundation degree in hearing aid dispensers with De Montfort University (DMU), was given an opportunity to travel in December as part of the university’s partnership with Square Mile India, a charity that helps underprivileged people in the country.
The team carried out hearing tests on adults and children in the cities of Rajkot and Ahmedabad and fit hearing aids to those most in need.
Working with six other students and two DMU tutors, Sharon and the team tested the hearing of over 120 adults and children and fitted 80 of those with hearing aids.
Sharon’s role involved carrying out hearing tests and looking at case histories. She found many people with perforations and infections in the ear, who she was then able to refer to an ear, nose and throat specialist for further treatment.
Making a difference
She said: ‘Testing over 50 people and fitting more than 20 hearing aids made me feel so proud. It means so much to make such a difference to that many people’s lives.
‘One lady I tested, who always had a smile on her face, was fitted with a hearing aid and it made such a huge difference to her life. Before being fitted with a hearing aid, she didn’t attend prayers as she couldn’t hear the chants. The morning after, we were invited to attend prayer and there she was with an even bigger smile on her face.
‘We were thanked for our work and were told that the lady in question said she would attend every morning as she can now hear the chants.
‘Being so fortunate to have been part of this project has certainly opened my eyes. I have come to realise you can have nothing at all and still be a beautiful person full of laughter and not have a care in the world. It really does put things in to perspective.
‘I would like to say a massive thank you to Specsavers Opticians and Hearing Centre in Burnley for contributing to the cost of my trip and allowing me to take the time out of work for the truly amazing once in a life time experience I have just encountered.’
Laura Threfall, hearing director at Specsavers Burnley said: ‘We are very proud of the hard work and commitment Sharon has not only put into her training and work within the stores in Burnley and Nelson, but also offering her own time to help with the charity work providing much needed treatment in India.’