Seventeen brave men and women, aged between 17 and 72, took to the skies to raise a fantastic £8,500 for Norfolk Deaf Association (NDA).
The event was organised by Norfolk Deaf Association as part of Deaf Awareness Week – a national campaign organised by the Deaf Council. Among those that had signed up to take part were people whose friends and family members have been affected by hearing loss.
The group assembled at Ellough Airfield near Beccles and, after a nervous wait for the rain clouds to clear, were briefed on the positions for exiting the plane and landing. Jump suits, harnesses, hoods and goggles were donned and they were off.
Val Miller and instructor Rich
Five planes accommodated jumpers at Ellough, and a further jumper was at Sibson Airfield, Peterborough. While most were nervous, it was noticeable that the more mature jumpers, Jim Baxter and Val Miller were remarkably relaxed.
Ellie Parfitt, herself a hearing aid user, took part in the event and said afterwards. “I had the best experience ever and I'd love to do it again!” The jumpers definitely enjoyed the exhilaration of free-falling at 120mph.
Aliona Laker, CEO Norfolk Deaf Association said: “Thank you so much to our brave supporters for taking to the skies in aid of NDA. We are delighted with the fundraising result and look forward to more tandem parachute jumps supporting our charity.”
Norfolk Deaf Association (NDA) is dedicated to improving the lives of young people and adults with all degrees of hearing loss. This is achieved by providing hearing aid maintenance, advice on assistive listening technology and communication methods, and support and information on hearing loss and other related conditions.
NDA was first established in 1898 and currently has a team of eight staff as well as more than 65 volunteers.
More than 124,000 people in Norfolk have some degree of hearing loss. This equates to 1 in 7 people.
NDA provides the following services: Hearing Support Service, Befriending Service, Tinnitus Support Group, Hard of Hearing group (HUSH! Club) and Hearing Loss Awareness Training for commercial and public sector organisations as well as individuals. Hearing Loss Awareness Training
Of the 2 million people in the UK that wear a hearing aid, only 1.4 million wear it regularly. Of the 124,000 Norfolk people that are registered as deaf, only 34% receive any support. The NDA is determined to improve that statistic.
It is estimated that by 2031, 14.5 million people in the UK will have hearing loss (approx. 20% of the population).