Deaf Awareness Week Half Marathon Challenge Cranleigh Parish Boundary Event

29th April 2016 - Sound Seekers, a UK charity dedicated to helping deaf people in the developing world, celebrates Deaf Awareness Week (2-8 May 2016) as Projects Committee Member Roger Green runs a half marathon in the Cranleigh Parish Boundary Event on Sunday 8th May.

Roger has a particular interest in deafness having worked as an audiological scientist for some 30 years in the UK and in New Zealand. Following retirement in 2009 he became involved as a volunteer with Sound Seekers serving as a member of the projects committee and with a particular interest in Malawi.

The incidence of deafness is much higher in the developing world than here in the UK but there is much less support available to prevent hearing loss and to help those affected. In the UK there is one audiologist for every 25,000 people, in Malawi for instance, there are currently none. Thanks to Sound Seekers this is beginning to change.

Sound Seekers is in the middle of a four year programme to establish a whole new audiology service that will eventually be run by Malawians. A brand-new, purpose-built audiology clinic will be officially opened on 5th May by the Malawian Health Minister, Dr Peter Kumpalume, and four Malawian audiology officers are currently studying for their MSc in Audiology at Manchester University, sponsored by Sound Seekers. Once qualified they will return to Malawi and ultimately run and further develop the service, testing for levels of hearing loss and providing properly fitted hearing aids.

Roger says: ‘I am running a half marathon to raise funds for Sound Seekers, to support the work that they do helping deaf children and adults in developing countries. I know from first-hand experience how life-changing Sound Seekers' involvement can be in helping deaf people, particularly children, to lead fulfilled lives, mixing with their friends and family, getting on at school and realising their potential in the work place when they grow up.'

Sound Seekers delivers practical and sustainable solutions to help deaf people learn and earn in the developing world, with partnership projects currently running in Cameroon, Malawi, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Zambia. With just three staff in their UK head office and one programme manager on the ground in Zambia, Sound Seekers keeps administrative overheads to an absolute minimum working closely with local people in country to deliver truly sustainable services for the deaf.

Although youth is no longer entirely on his side, Roger is determined to do all he can to support Sound Seekers as he says: ‘I have been a casual runner (well, plodder) most of my life but, now not far off 70, I'm getting a bit long in the tooth! I have done a couple of marathons and a sprinkling of half marathons, but not for a very long time.' The Cranleigh Parish Boundary Event follows a well-marked course is entirely on public footpaths and every participant will receive a well-earned, bespoke medal. Walking the Parish Boundary is also known as beating the bounds, it is an ancient custom still observed today in many English parishes.

For anybody interested in supporting Roger and Sound Seekers please visit his JustGiving Page: