Sunrise hearing assistance grants now available
When the Gisborne Hearing Association closed in 2016 they established the Hearing Assistance Fund at Sunrise to ensure those with hearing impairments in Tairawhiti-Gisborne will be supported forever.
The Gisborne Hearing Association spent 68 years advocating for and helping those with hearing impairments. When they started being deaf was a social stigma, so not only did they help with hearing aids and lip reading, they also arranged recreational activities and provided companionship to help break down the social isolation of those with hearing problems.
The advancements in hearing technology over the past 70 years has improved how the hearing impaired can integrate into the community, changing how people perceive them, and hearing problems are now widely acknowledged as a public health concern.
Despite the closure of our local hearing association, its work will continue through the Hearing Assistance Fund at Sunrise.
The residue funds of the long running organisation, which were used to establish the Hearing Assistance Fund, have been invested by Sunrise in perpetuity (forever).
Every year the interest from the hearing fund (less a small amount which is retained to ensure the fund grows in line with inflation and is protected from future investment market fluctuations) will be available as grants to support the hearing impaired in Tairawhiti-Gisborne.
Sunrise Foundation executive officer Glenda Stokes said although changing times forced the association to close its legacy would continue.
“It was sad to see the end of an era when the Hearing Association closed, but with the establishment of the Hearing Assistance Fund those with hearing impairments will continue to be supported forever.”
Glenda added that the Hearing Association committee members felt Sunrise had the ability to continue the good work the association had built up and that was behind their decision to establish the fund.
“The money was fundraised by Gisborne people, for the benefit of Gisborne people. It will all stay local to help our community.”
There are four funding rounds per year, where individuals who are hearing impaired and organisations that are involved in education or projects which help hearing impaired people, can apply for financial assistance.
Applications for this quarter are open from 19 November until 2 December 2018. Information on how and when to apply, including the application form and funding criteria, are available on the Sunrise website.