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Issue Date:- 5 May 2008


RNID, the charity for deaf and hard of hearing people, is asking everyone to take just one minute to imagine a world without sound during this year's Deaf Awareness Week (5 May 2008 to  11 May 2008).

To launch the campaign, the charity is releasing the results of a straw poll, which asked people which sounds they would miss the most if they lost their hearing. The voice of a loved one came top with 28% of the vote, followed closely by music (25%) and laughter (18%).

Jackie Ballard, Chief Executive of RNID, says:- "During Deaf Awareness Week we want people to take a moment to imagine a world without sound, to think about how you would you feel if you lost your hearing and were not able to hear sounds that you have always taken for granted, such as bird song, laughter, or perhaps your favourite piece of music.

Hearing loss can have a profound impact on people's lives; many become isolated and lose touch with their friends and family. By getting people to imagine a world without sound, we hope to encourage people to be more aware of their hearing. Please support Deaf Awareness Week by visiting our website."

Among those who took part in the straw poll were a host of celebrities including Barbara Windsor, Sarah Beeny and Natalie Imbruglia. Natalie says:- "My favourite sound is laughter.....  belly laughter!! There is nothing like the abandonment of hysterical laughter. It is contagious and healing, and very joyful."

Barbara Windsor also sited laughter as the sound she would miss the most. She says:- "Hearing is something most of us are guilty of taking for granted. RNID wants to raise awareness of what it's like to live in a world without sound, what you can do to look after your hearing and how we can tackle prejudice and exclusion around deafness. So I am happy to be doing my bit to lend my support."

As part of Deaf Awareness Week, RNID is also launching a national photographic competition inviting people to upload images of the sounds they would miss the most if they lost their hearing. For more information, please visit or contact RNID's information line on 0808 808 0123 (telephone), 0808 808 9000 (textphone).  If you think that you, or someone you know, might have some hearing loss, why not take RNID's simple 5 minute telephone hearing check on 0845 600 5555.

Young person honoured for inspiring others to give time in Liverpool

A young person from Eritrea, who has been living in Liverpool for the past 8 years, has spent 9 months recruiting other young people to help with local volunteering projects across the city will be presented with a certificate by BBC One’s Waterloo Road star, Shabana Bakhsh.

Rachel Solomon, 24, mobilised 120 volunteers over the past nine months and will be among 20 young people presented with a certificate at a celebration event in London on the 8 May 2008 in honour of her extensive work on the Agents4Change campaign.

Agents4Change is a project coordinated by volunteering charity CSV with support from Tesco and youth volunteering charity v, which aims to encourage young people aged 16 to 25 to give volunteering a try.

BBC One’s Waterloo Road star, Shabana Bakhsh says:- “Signing up to Agents4Change is a great way for young people to prove their potential and show they care about tackling local problems. Volunteering is the perfect way to gain new skills, experience and meet new people.”

Rachel says:- “The best thing about Agents4Change was seeing hugely successful events come together and it was great to see everyone working hard, contributing to really good causes and enjoying making their mark in different ways.”

Highlights of Rachel’s time on the Agents4Change campaign include:-

► Organising training for 15 young people from design professionals followed by an apprentice-style window-dressing challenge in ten Cancer Research charity stores across Liverpool.

► Rejuvenating the after-school club at the Albion Community Centre in Everton.

The Agents4Change celebration event will take place at 6pm on Thursday, 8 May 2008, at the Rich Mix Performance Space, 34-35 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA.

For further press information contact:-

Olivia Ware on 0207 812 0039 / 07870 689 347 / email

or Paul Donohoe on 020 7812 0037 / email.

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