Within the Charities section of this website you’ll read stories about some remarkable people, but I think
it’s fair to say that Janine Roebuck’s story is unique.
That’s because for more than 30 years, Janine, a world-class mezzo-soprano who is equally happy on opera and musical theatre stages, kept secret from the world the fact that she was deaf.
She was just a teenager when she learned she was losing her hearing, and while others may have been tempted to
give up on their dreams of becoming a singing star, Janine pursued them, becoming a regular guest on the Radio 2 show, Friday Night is Music Night.
Having a genetic progressive hearing loss meant
Janine was wearing hearing aids from the time
she was 30, without which “I couldn’t possibly have had a career in music”, she said.
With support from Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID), she finally decided to go public as the only deaf mezzo-soprano in the world, and now gives inspirational talks on overcoming barriers.
She’s also a trustee of Action on Hearing Loss, which campaigned to get hearing aids introduced to the NHS free for all 65
Janine has pledged a gift in her will to the charity to ensure that people still continue to benefit from free hearing aids, life changing information and one-to-one support so they can live their dreams, just as she did.
Leaving a legacy to Action on Hearing Loss can also help future generations of children, like 13-year-old Mary Strickland.
She’s only just a teenager, yet is already losing her hearing.
As she gets older, it will worsen because of a genetic condition which is already preventing her from enjoying her childhood.
She gets confused and upset by loud noises, so she avoids the playground and is becoming increasingly withdrawn.
Her father Hugh has the same condition but he doesn’t think Mary should go through what he did 30 years ago.
Hugh and Mary are helping to raise funds to find a cure for hearing loss – and gifts in wills are critical to ensure work like this succeeds for the next generation.
charity section starts here?
ACTION ON HEARING LOSS
Action on Hearing Loss offers several services in Scotland including Hear to Help community services, and working with young people who are deaf or have hearing loss.
The Hear to Help project alone has reached more than 23,000 people in the last two years offering services such as drop-in clinics and drop-in sessions, home, nursing and sheltered housing visits, re-tubing equipment and battery packs.
Action on Hearing Loss also dealt with more than 26,000 inquiries last year via e-mail and phone, with many requests for help coming from Scotland.
Leaving a legacy to Action on Hearing Loss can make a huge difference to thousands of children and adults.
The charity funds biomedical research into cures for hearing loss, deafness and tinnitus and, because it chooses
research projects very carefully and uses some of the best scientists in the world, it is getting results.
In 2012, for example, one of the charity’s scientists found a way to repair the auditory nerve which links the ear to the brain and which is easily damaged.
This needs further testing but it brings treatments for hearing loss much closer.
Most of the money that has paid for this research, and other projects that are also breaking exciting new ground, comes from gifts that people have kindly left in their wills.
By leaving a legacy in your will, you will be helping support people with hearing loss.