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Citroën Hatfield helps HHAS recognise contribution of its volunteers

September 2012: Citroën Hatfield has continued its support of the Hertfordshire Hearing Advisory Service by hosting the charity's annual Volunteers Evening on Wednesday 19 September.

Photo of Padraic presenting Veronica with her 25 year volunteer award

At the Volunteers Evening, which took place at the Citroën showroom in Hatfield, HHAS' volunteers were treated to an evening of entertainment, including talks on various topics, a raffle and buffet.

Around 25 of the charity's 123 volunteers attended the event. At the end of the evening, a number of volunteers were presented with long-service awards, including Alison Barker from Whitwell, Robert Guyver from Hertford and Veronica Broadie from Letchworth.

Citroën Hatfield has been supporting HHAS for a number of years - in 2010, it subsidised the charity's purchase of a Citroën car for its mobile hearing service. Citroën Hatfield also helps raise awareness of HHAS among its customers by distributing leaflets with information on the charity's services.

"With over £11,000 in government funding cuts, the charity has had to tighten their belt in various ways," said Philip Linnegar, Chief Executive of Hertfordshire Hearing Advisory Service.

"We normally pay over £500 to hire a venue for our Volunteers Evening, but this year Citroën Hatfield stepped in and kindly offered us their facilities for the evening. We would like to say a big thank you to them for their continued support, which has enabled us to recognise the vital contribution our volunteers make to the charity."

Padraic Gallagher, a Sales Executive at Citroën Hatfield said: "We're pleased to support the charity as it's a good cause. We have customers who come here with hearing problems and I see how hard it can be for them when they miss parts of the conversation. The charity does good work locally with its mobile hearing service."

At the Volunteers Evening, Letchworth Garden City resident Veronica Broadie was presented with an award recognising the 25 years she has been volunteering for HHAS. Every month she visits people with hearing loss in Letchworth Garden City to help them with their hearing aid and offer support on coping with hearing loss. She is also the chair of the charity's board of trustees, helping advise the charity on its strategy.

"I love volunteering for the charity - it's so rewarding as you can see the difference you are making to people's everyday lives," said Veronica. "Some of the people I help, I've been visiting for many years so we are now friends. One lady I visit is 97 and I've been helping her with her hearing aid for around 20 years!"

Hertford resident Robert Guyver was presented with an award recognising the 10 years he has been volunteering for the charity. A retired BT engineer, Robert volunteers for the charity as a technical advisor and also helps the charity install loop systems.

"I advise people on the various types of hearing equipment they can use, such as telephones and TV listeners. I like the fact that I can use my technical skills to help people," said Robert.

Whitwell resident Alison Barker also received a 10 year volunteer award. Alison who was praised as being one of the HHAS' most prolific volunteers, helps countless people with hearing loss in the villages around Hitchin.

"My father was deaf so I know how valuable assistance of this sort is," said Alison. "The people I visit would struggle to go to the local audiology department to get help with their hearing aid, for example, one client I visit is 100 years old and housebound."

We are always looking for more volunteers to help local people suffering from hearing loss. To find out more about volunteering for the charity, contact Gary Appleby on 01707 324 582 or volunteering@hhas.org.uk.