Hearing Link volunteer Margaret Canning has been named the Self Management Champion of the Year by the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland.
Margaret, from Penicuik, was presented with the award at the Self Management Awards ceremony at the Scottish Parliament last week.
Hearing Link supported Margaret after her hearing deteriorated and resulted in her giving up working. She found out about the work of Hearing Link and attended both the charity’s rehabilitation and self management programmes to help manage the changes in her hearing.
Inspired by the support she received, Margaret, who is now a cochlear implant user, started her own volunteering journey with Hearing Link eight years ago. She began as a key contributor at the charity’s self management programmes, sharing her own personal experiences to support others going through similar changes.
Today she also mentors new volunteers, supports individuals one-to-one, raises awareness of Hearing Link at events and talks, and is a key member of the Hearing Aid Liaison Outreach (HALO) project team which delivers drop-in support sessions for patients at Edinburgh’s Adult Audiology department twice a month.
Speaking about the award, Margaret said: “It was a wonderful evening at the Alliance’s Self Management Awards. I was so excited and honoured to win the Self Management Champion of the Year 2019 award. To be acknowledged and nominated was amazing, but to win the award makes volunteering with Hearing Link so worthwhile.
“I have met so many wonderful people during the past eight years that I have been a volunteer. It is so worthwhile helping others to find ways of coping with their hearing loss by sharing my own experiences and seeing the difference it can make to them, so they know that they are not alone and help is out there.
“I am delighted to have won this award and want to thank the Alliance, Alison Coyle at Hearing Link, and my fellow volunteer Ann Thallon for making this possible.”
Michelle McMaster, Hearing Link UK and Northern Ireland Services director, added: “Huge congratulations to Margaret for being crowned Self Management Champion of the Year.
“She works tirelessly to support people living with hearing loss in Scotland and beyond, using her own personal experiences to help them move forward in their hearing journey.
“Margaret is a wonderful ambassador for our organisation with her endless, energetic support and practical help for hundreds, if not thousands, of people over the past eight years.”