A Whiteabbey volunteer has been awarded a prestigious award for the significant contribution he has made to the welfare of the hearing loss community across Northern Ireland and the UK.
James Newell was announced as the recipient of the Heather Jackson Award which is presented each year to a person who has made a significant contribution to the improvement of the welfare and opportunity of deafened people.
James, who has lived with hearing loss since he was four-years-old, was nominated for his dedicated work as a volunteer for the UK hearing loss charity, Hearing Link. He was the first volunteer to support the charity’s work in Northern Ireland in 2013 and has worked tirelessly since then to build its capacity and reputation across the country.
James, a father of two who also works full-time as a Social Work Assistant for the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust was presented with his award by Chief Executive of Hearing Link, Dr Lorraine Gailey, recently in front of delighted family, friends and colleagues.
James said: “Receiving the Heather Jackson Award took me by surprise. I’m very pleased to have been acknowledged for doing something that I love – bringing laughter back into people’s live who have forgotten how to laugh due to their hearing loss. I really enjoy my role in Hearing Link as it allows me to give something back and to be a positive influence on the lives of so many.”
Dr Gailey, CEO Hearing Link, added: “James gives to others freely and generously in all areas of his life. He’s an incredibly positive role model for others, helping them to make changes that are lasting and beneficial.”