Mum's fundraising campaign needs another £1,000 to help children hear at nursery
PARENTS are fundraising to pay for ‘sound clouds’ to help children who have difficulty with hearing loss and communication at a Yate nursery.
A fundraising initiative has been set up to pay for the ceiling-hung devices, which help to cut out background noise and make it easier for children with hearing issues to listen to speech, at Sodbury Vale nursery.
But after almost all events had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus lockdown, the appeal is below its target.
The nursery, at the Ridgewood Centre in Station Road, has high ceilings and since the pandemic its soft furnishings have had to be removed, making its already-poor acoustics even worse.
Samantha Coleman set up an online fundraising page before lockdown when 24 out of 80 children attending the nursery needed additional help with speech and language. Among them is her own daughter, Olivia, who is deaf in her left ear and has fluctuating hearing loss in her right ear.
Olivia, who is three, uses a mixture of BSL and Makaton sign languages to help her communicate. Makaton is used by all the staff and children at Sodbury Vale.
Julie Norcombe of Sodbury Vale Day Nursery with Olivia Coleman and her mum Samantha, who is fundraising to pay for sound cloud devices to make it easier for children with impaired hearing to listen and communitcate
Samantha said: “When she’s trying to communicate with the other children it’s so upsetting because she can’t hear them and they are waiting for a response, she can’t respond, and then their playing breaks down.
“She wears a bone anchored hearing aid, known as a BAHA, which sits on her left ear on the bone, behind her ear. It’s amazing – if someone talks to her on her left side the sound will get transmitted over to her right ear and she will know they are there.
“In nursery you just have all the background noise going into this hearing aid and she rips it off. If the sound clouds are installed it would bring the reverberation down to an acceptable level, so that she could hear, possibly without the BAHA band.”
Nursery manager Julie Norcombe said: “With ever-increasing numbers of children starting their early years education needing speech and language intervention, the addition of the sound clouds to the room would be a huge benefit to the children. The sound clouds will enable many of the sounds in the room to be absorbed, thus making the listening environment much more child friendly, not just for the children of Sodbury Vale now, but for future children too.”
The sound clouds will cost £4,600 and the appeal currently needs around £1,000 to reach its target.