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Overwhelmed by support from GDA

An elderly deaf woman is looking forward to spending Christmas in her Cirencester home after a charity customised the flat for her.

Jenny Parker, 73, lives in a third floor apartment in the town centre and has been overwhelmed by the support she has received from Gloucestershire Deaf Association (GDA), which has helped transform her home and introduce her to other deaf people. 

GDA helped Mrs Parker with installing a special, loud and flashing buzzer for when people arrived at her apartment, because she could not hear the one everyone else used regular one.

The charity was also involved in installing an amplifier on the TV so she could hear it better, rather than having to just read the subtitles. A firefighter also came in to put a special vibrating smoke alarm under her pillow. All this was provided free by GDA, which helps people across the county.

Mrs Parker, who has two daughters living nearby as well as nine grandchildren, attends a monthly GDA group in the town where she can meet other deaf people. She often does not enjoy social events with hearing people because she cannot understand what is being said.

“It’s hard work to talk to deaf people which is why it can be such a lonely disability,” she said.

Despite being a passionate member of Stratton Drama Group, Mrs Parker has declined the invitation of this year’s Christmas party because she feels so embarrassed not being able to hear conversations. But she is going to a festive meal with members of GDA instead.

“I do not mind joining in with that because everyone is deaf,” she joked. “GDA do talks and social occasions as well. Their help has been valuable.”

Mrs Parker hopes that one day GDA might open a Cirencester branch, as the main office in Gloucester is quite a way to travel for her. “They are a really great organisation. We do could do with a proper GDA office in Cirencester. That would be so helpful.”

And she was full of praise for the charity's speedy response to any issues she has.

“I bought my telephone through GDA which was not brilliant. But I don’t think anything is brilliant now as my hearing is so distorted,” she said. “But when I said I was not getting on well with it, they were very good and said to bring it in and tested it.

"It’s a very nice atmosphere when you go in.”
The article was printed on Monday 15 December 2014 in the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard. Read the article online here. If you would like to support the work GDA does to help people like Jenny please donate at www.justgiving.com/gda   


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