The British Tinnitus Association (BTA – http://www.tinnitus.org.uk), celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2007, is welcoming The Duchess of Devonshire DL as its first ever patron and The Right Honourable Sir Stephen Sedley as president. The announcement comes as the BTA launches its National Tinnitus Awareness Week, on 19-25 February, held in conjunction with the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID - http://www.rnid.org.uk).
The BTA is the only national charity dedicated to supporting those suffering from tinnitus. Characterised by continual ringing or buzzing sounds in the ears when there is no external source, the distressing condition can impact sleep, the ability to enjoy quiet activities, or simply the quality of everyday life. It can occur at any age and, according to the Medical Research Council, 10% of people in the UK suffer from tinnitus at some time in their lives.*
Based in Sheffield, BTA provides a wide spectrum of services from over 30 downloadable information sheets on its website and a free helpline for sufferers to training days and bursaries for audiological professionals. Members can share experiences, advice and news through the association’s quarterly magazine, ‘Quiet’, or track down their local self help group for support closer to home.
Martin Wass, director of BTA, says: “We couldn’t offer these services without the fundraising efforts of volunteers and the time so generously given by professionals. Garnering the support of The Right Honourable Sir Stephen Sedley alongside a local notary such as the Duchess for our patron is a real privilege.”
He adds: “The Duchess works tirelessly to contribute to our local community through the Chatsworth estate, and the BTA will benefit enormously from her energy and enthusiasm.”
The National Tinnitus Awareness Week will involve events around the country to educate people about the condition and reach out to sufferers. The BTA will be setting up information stands and presenting talks from tinnitus professionals and helpline staff.
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Notes for editors
The British Tinnitus Association (BTA) was established in 1992 and is based in Sheffield. It provides support and information to people with tinnitus through its freephone helpline 0800 018 0527 (minicom 0114 258 5694) and its website, www.tinnitus.org.uk.
The association runs British Academy of Audiology approved training for professionals and academic research into tinnitus.
The Rt.Hon. Stephen Sedley will be the third president of the BTA. He succeeds the founding president, The Rt.Hon. Lord Jack Ashley of Stoke and The Rt. Hon. Lord Robert McLennan of Rogart.