Hi Kent: Looking Ahead To When Lockdown Starts To Ease

Hi Kent and covid

Hi Kent has managed to keep most of its services running throughout the pandemic and has adapted others. Now the charity, which helps people with hearing loss in Kent, is looking ahead to when restrictions start to ease.

Here, Hi Kent’s press officer Debra Jones tells is about its plans for when the country starts to open up.

Well, what a year it’s been! The majority of our services have kept running and have been adapted when necessary. We are so pleased that we have been able to continue to help people in Kent living with hearing loss.

Now we hope we’re about to come out of our third lockdown. We are making plans to try to get back to as normal as possible as soon as possible. This is the current state of play for our services:-

Free services

Telephone Support: We now have two ‘Wellbeing’ support staff. They have been appointed to spend more time talking to those clients who are perhaps more vulnerable. This new service has proved invaluable to many, especially over the last year.

Hearing Aid Aftercare Clinics: We are gradually making plans to re-open our hearing aid aftercare clinics. We have identified a few locations where we will be able to deliver this service safely. These will start in April and details will be on our website and publicised in the press and on social media.

For the time being these will be non-contact, where clients will leave their aids with us and we will tend to them and return them as quickly as possible. We will wear full PPE and thoroughly clean and sanitise our work areas before, during and after use.

Assessment Service: Clients are offered a free assessment, either by telephone or video. We are still able to provide equipment to help at home and at work in this way. We hope to be able to resume face-to-face assessments very soon, taking all precautions to ensure the safety of our clients and our staff.

Tinnitus Support Groups: These will continue online. This has proved very successful and we have seen the numbers of people wanting this free help rising over the last few months. Meetings are held at 2pm on the 1st and 3rd Thursday and 7pm on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month, every month.

Online teaching

Lipreading Classes: Our free classes will continue online for the foreseeable future. Online teaching in this way has worked well, with students and tutors appreciating not having to travel to a venue, especially during the winter.

British Sign Language Classes: All these are now held online, which has worked well for tutors and students.

For help or more advice about any Hi Kent services, including the sending of batteries while local clinics are closed, ring Hi Kent on 01622 691151 (Maidstone) or 01227 760046 (Canterbury). Or text to 07939 593030 or email enquiries@hikent.org.uk

Information may also be found on the website here.