Happy New Ears - Hospital Hearing Aids Arrive in Sri Lanka

January 13, 2011 1:35 PM

The charity Helplanka is handing over the hearing aids to the Nuffield Deaf School in the city of Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Hearing aids donated by Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust are now helping children in Sri Lanka, thanks to a charity based in Carshalton.

The hearing aids, which belonged to NHS patients who now have newer digital models, were donated by the Trust to the charity Helplanka in November last year, and have just completed their 5,454 mile journey to the Nuffield Deaf School in the city of Jaffna.

Karen Breen is the Trust's Director of Operations and officially handed over the hearing aids in December. Karen said: "It is fantastic to know that the hearing aids arrived safely, and are already giving a new lease of life to children in Sri Lanka who have problems with their hearing. It is a real pleasure for us to be able to help."

Sam Goonetillake is the Chief Executive of the charity and delivered the hearing aids personally with his team last month (December). Sam said: "The school were completely speechless at the donation and I could see instantly how much they appreciated it.

"Hundreds of children in Sri Lanka struggle each day without a working hearing aid: even older models like these cost over £100 there, and the vast majority of people simply cannot afford to buy them for their children.

"The Nuffield Deaf School were in desperate need of these, and I am incredibly grateful to Epsom and St Helier for their generosity."

Tom Brake, MP for Carshalton and Wallington, is a Patron of Helplanka. Tom said: "I'd like to reiterate my thanks to the teams at Epsom and St Helier and the volunteers and staff of Helplanka. It is truly fantastic that our local hospitals and charity workers have made such a difference to children in a school in Sri Lanka."

Helplanka are now hoping other NHS organisations across the country may be in a position to help with future donations.

You can visit the Helplanka website for more information or to make a donation at www.helplanka.co.uk.

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