Free LinkUp Support Group coming to Cardiff
Friday 18th - Sunday 20th August 2023 | Clayton Hotel, Cardiff | Free
If you live with hearing loss, you’re not alone. We know how daunting it can be when you experience changes in your hearing. That’s why our friends at hearing loss charity Hearing Link Services (part of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People), have created ‘LinkUps’, free support groups to help you manage your hearing journey.
The LinkUps, which are popular residential weekends, are designed by people with lived experience of hearing loss, for others with hearing loss and their families and friends. Best of all is the groups are fully funded, with meals and accommodation also being provided.
Between Friday 18th and Sunday 20th August, Hearing Link has organised a LinkUp Support Group to take place in Cardiff. Our very own Sonja Jones will be taking part, offering her time to provide specialist advice and support in her role as a Clinical Audiologist.
To help any answer any questions you may have, we have created an FAQ below which outlines much more information about the Cardiff LinkUp.
To register your interest in Cardiff LinkUp Support Group taking place in August, you will need to complete a short form which can be accessed by clicking here.
A LinkUp support group normally takes place in a residential setting – either one of our UK charity sites or a hotel.
It is led by two people with personal experience of hearing loss in their own lives. One will have a personal hearing loss themselves and so will have practical experience of managing the daily challenges that brings.
The other will have a personal understanding of the frustrations hearing loss brings to the family or to other close relationships. Both will be experienced group facilitators, and their role is to help the members of the group agree on the topics they wish to discuss.
In addition to this, there will be two or three volunteers who all have personal experience of hearing loss in one way or another. Their role is to make sure the practical arrangements run smoothly, and to share their own personal experiences and the solutions they have found for the problems they have encountered.
Most LinkUp support groups are run over a weekend to make sure those with employment commitments can access them. Participants normally arrive on a Friday evening to begin to get to know each other. Formal sessions begin on Saturday morning and run throughout the day, concluding with a shared meal in the evening. Work continues Sunday morning and will finish just after lunchtime to allow for return travel.
The aim of the groups is simple. LinkUps are a chance to explore the challenges of living with hearing loss, share solutions and find out about technology or equipment that can make life a little bit easier.
During group sessions, Hearing Link provides an excellent working hearing loop and speech to text support (whereby everything that is said is typed in real-time and displayed on a screen) so that everyone can follow everything that has been said.
During the break times, they use the opportunity to practise some of the communication strategies that will have been discussed during the sessions. The most important thing to remember is that everyone is in the same boat, so everyone understands and looks out for each other.
Many participants arrive feeling deeply anxious that they will be left out of the conversation, just like the situation in their everyday life. It doesn’t take long before they realise that this is one place where good communication is practised, and all are included.
Currently, Hearing Link make no charge for participating in a LinkUp support group and they cover the costs of accommodation, meals and refreshments from arrival to departure thanks to the generosity of voluntary donations and funding from grant providers.
They do not cover the cost of transport to and from the LinkUp support group, but if this would prevent someone from attending who really needs this help they will always consider options.
The Cardiff residential weekend is being held between Friday 18th and Sunday 20th 2023. The venue is the Clayton Hotel, Penarth Road, Cardiff, CF10 1RH.
LinkUps will be of interest to anyone whose life has been affected by hearing loss. This includes anyone whose hearing has deteriorated to the point where it is causing them difficulties.
The LinkUps also includes relatives, partners, or friends of someone with hearing loss, because we know that hearing loss in the family, affects all family members, and everyone needs support to find a new way forward.
For this reason, Hearing Link encourages participants to sign-up as a pair. The programme offers everyone the opportunity to explore their own challenges, and to understand better each other’s perspective.
It is of benefit for those with recent hearing loss; but also, for those who have lived with hearing loss for many years or longer.
Need further help?
To register your interest in Cardiff LinkUp Support Group taking place in August, you will need to complete a short form which can be accessed by clicking below. Alternatively for more information please click the Contact button below.