First Tinnitus Self-Help Group Information Day Given the Thumbs Up
|Author: JennyPearce||Published: 26th October 2011 12:34|
The British Tinnitus Association (BTA), the only UK charity dedicated to supporting those who experience tinnitus, successfully hosted a free one-day event for all UK based tinnitus support groups on Saturday (15 October 2011) at the Deaf Cultural Centre in Birmingham.
The inaugural information day aimed to inform and inspire people who either attend or run existing tinnitus support groups. The day also aimed to encourage others to form a group if one currently does not exist in their area. It was supported by the Big Lottery Fund and was attended by more than 40 people who travelled from as far afield as Northern Ireland, including group members, sensory support workers and audiologists.
The BTA's work with support groups is part of its ‘Talking Tinnitus' campaign which aims to encourage people to talk about their tinnitus experience and to seek help from others who are also affected, for mutual benefit. Many find that attending a tinnitus group can be an invaluable source of help and support. They can often be a lifeline to some, especially when members of their family or friends are unable to relate to their experience of tinnitus.
The event included three workshops. Tony Kay, who runs Aintree Tinntius Support Group and is an audiologist at Aintree University Hospital, discussed how to start a group; effective advertising and how to recruit new members. David Stockdale, BTA CEO, informed the attendees how to involve local medical professionals and source group speakers. Members of the Birmingham & District Tinnitus Group also spoke about Governance and how to implement an effective committee.
Other speakers included Helen Goldsby-West, a fundraiser for the BTA; Zoe Hiljemark of Marketing Matters, the BTA's integrated marketing agency; Chris Fry, a solicitor at Unity Law; Don Ferran, a consultant Otolaryngologist and John Phillips a consultant ENT surgeon. Issues covered included fundraising within a group, maximising local PR opportunities, plus legal and medical issues.
The event also included one-to-one sessions, networking games and lunch was provided.
David Stockdale, CEO of the BTA, said: "Feedback has been really positive. We have given delegates relevant information and tips on how to boost membership and how to maximise the potential of the groups, and we hope that the event will lead to many more groups being opened throughout the country to help more people who experience tinnitus. We'd like to thank the Big Lottery Fund, as without them this day could not have taken place."
Comments from delegates included: "A really good mix of people and all the speakers were approachable", "An excellent first event, good speakers and good facilities", and "A good effort, well worth repeating".
A full list of existing tinnitus support groups can be found at www.tinnitus.org.uk/directory. For more details about the BTA please visit www.tinnitus.org.uk or call 0114 250 9933. For information on the Big Lottery Fund please visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk