Cash boost for hard of hearing

Belper people living with a hearing impairment are to receive crime prevention help to increase their safety thanks to a new project being rolled out across Amber Valley.

Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles has committed almost £5,000 from his crime prevention fund towards Hearing Help’s Safe and Secure project in the borough.

The service provides practical advice to vulnerable people across the Amber Valley area.

Visiting the project’s lunch club last week, Mr Charles heard how the scheme aims to extend support networks for the hard of hearing, and establish stronger links with neighbourhood police officers and community groups to help improve their safety.

He said: “Those vulnerable members of our community who are living with hearing impairment often face barriers when it comes to accessing information that can help protect them. This project removes these hurdles and delivers practical help and support in a more effective way.

“My mission is to increase the safety of everyone living and working in Derbyshire, particularly the vulnerable who are often disproportionately affected by crime.

“To achieve this we must make it easier for these adults to access the support they need and recognise their individual needs so they can protect themselves and their property and feel more included within their community.”

John O’Brien, from Hearing Help, said “We are thrilled to have been entrusted with the delivery of this very important service to the vulnerable members of our community and which will enhance the other services we provide.”

Feedback gathered via an anonymous survey showed that people with hearing impairment can be among the most vulnerable members of society, the commissioner said. Almost 70 per cent of people surveyed said they would let a stranger into their home if they could not hear what they had said, while 80 per cent kept doors unlocked.

Based near Ripley, the charity providing a central hub for all hearing impaired people and their families.