Ken’s Time Serving
Ken began his service in the Royal Navy in 1967, stationed at H.M.S. Ganges, a training ship that was later incorporated into the stone frigate of the Royal Navy. Initially trained as an electrician, Ken’s duties later included serving as a minesweeper, a role that lasted for one year. After that, he was drafted onto submarines, where he spent the next 34 years of his career.
In the early years of serving on submarines, Ken’s role was to keep watch of the motor room. Unfortunately, at that time, ear defenders were only provided to engine room watch-keepers, and the damaging effects of constant exposure to high-frequency noise from the machinery were not yet known. For 12 hours a day, and for periods of 3 to 5 months at a time, Ken was subjected to these harmful conditions. Over time, this exposure had an irreparable impact on Ken’s hearing health.
“Given I spent nearly 12 years on these Boats it was a lot of time in that noisy environment.”
Even when he was drafted to serve in nuclear-powered submarines, Ken couldn’t escape from the constant high-frequency machinery noises that permeated the vessel, causing irreparable damage to his hearing. Additionally, his 10-year stint as a Royal Navy marksman firing rifles also contributed to lasting damage to his right ear. Diagnosed with hearing loss and tinnitus at the age of 48, Ken’s hearing has steadily declined over the years, and at 71, it continues to worsen, causing frustration and anxiety in his day-to-day life.
How It Affects Ken
The National Health Hearing Aids provided to Ken as a solution to his hearing loss and tinnitus, unfortunately, lacks the advanced features required to offer adequate support. These hearing aids struggle to distinguish between background noise and sounds he wants to hear, making it challenging for Ken to communicate and perform daily activities.
“It can be extremely annoying and embarrassing because sometimes you try and guess what someone has said, and you can get it terribly wrong. My wife finds it very frustrating at times as she has to repeat herself over and over as I cannot make out what she is saying on the first pass.”
During a brief trial period, Ken had the opportunity to test top-of-the-range hearing aids and noticed a tremendous difference. He found them to be amazing and even life-changing. However, the unfortunate reality is that this advanced technology is expensive and unavailable to individuals with limited budgets.
This affects more than just Ken. Dottie-May, Ken’s granddaughter, had this to say:
“Granddad, if they can help you to hear better, you can help me more with my reading, because a lot of the time you get the words I have said wrong. It would also stop Nannie having to shout at you because you cannot hear what she has said. I don’t like that, Granddad. If they cannot help you, I have £50 saved and you can have that for some super-duper hearing aids!”
What We’ll Do for Ken
Using the monies earned, we will be putting Ken through our carefully crafted pathway, supporting him at every step. We will seek out an audiologist that best fits Ken to carry out a hearing assessment, after which Ken will be recommended and supplied with a suitable set of top-of-the-range hearing aids. Additionally, Ken will also be supported with a 3-year aftercare service, ensuring any problems and worries are addressed and dealt with swiftly.
“The Veterans Hearing Aid Charity is doing a fantastic job, but to help me and many other people like me, they need funding and help from the public. Please support this amazing Charity and help to change not only my life but the lives of all those around me. Thank you.”
Ken has now been fully fitted. Receiving the support and care Ken deserves, his quality of life has been drastically increased thanks to an alternate charity that has stepped in to fund him.
As we are looking to support many veterans more, any leftover donations on our JustGiving campaign will be transferred to the next veteran we support.
Thank you for your help!