Giving the gift of sound where it’s needed most
At Blamey Saunders, we truly believe in accessibility to the best hearing care and technology should be a given, for all Australians. Our community service programs reflect that.
Recycled Sound is one such program.
Locally operated in Melbourne by the Rotary Club of Toorak in conjunction with Blamey Saunders, the program provides donated hearing aids and free Audiological services to individuals living with hearing loss who – through a range of life circumstances – are unable to access or afford hearing aid devices or audiological care on their own.
How Recycled Sound started
Hearing loss can be a major life event, and when you’re not in a position to buy a new hearing device, it can add another layer of stress to an already challenging situation.
Knowing that this is a reality for many, The Rotary Club of Toorak wanted to find a way to provide free hearing aids to people who needed them most – just as other organisations do with glasses.
Initially, the club collected recycled hearing aids for organisations to provide to recipients at a discounted price. Although the service was helping people access inexpensive hearing aids, the volunteers still felt they weren’t helping enough people, and particularly those in the greatest need.
Dr Elaine Saunders, the founder of Blamey Saunders hears, was also a member of the club at the time. After learning about the project and the club’s concerns, the two organisations came together to create an end-to-end audiological service for individuals in need.
How does it work?
Why is the initiative important?
Recycled Sound has provided the gift of hearing to a wide range of individuals in the community who are unable to afford hearing aid devices without additional support. Program recipients include people on low incomes, students, refugees, individuals undergoing cancer and other medical treatments, or those in supported accommodation due to the risk of domestic violence or other at-risk situations.
Research has shown that poor hearing can further exclude individuals who may already be living with social or economic disadvantage. This in turn can make it more difficult to participate in study or secure employment.
Access to free hearing devices for these people is an important step in removing any unnecessary barriers to participate fully in life and society.
For a person in need, being fitted with a recycled hearing aid through the initiative can instantly change their lives for the better.
Diane has faced her fair share of challenges in the past few years. She was diagnosed with cancer and was in need of chemotherapy to stop its spread. Thinking that the treatment was going to help her fight the awful disease, she then experienced an unexpected side effect. The chemotherapy caused significant hearing loss, to the point that she couldn’t even hear what her doctors were saying about her condition.
Read more about Diane’s story.
Message from Michelle, our CEO
Recycled Sound is a truly unique and life-changing program. We’re so proud to be able to help improve the health and wellbeing of so many people – and help them re-engage in the world around them through the gift of sound.
Hearing loss can be extremely isolating. So we’re thrilled to be able to remove this barrier from so many people who may be facing greater challenges and adversity in life than others.
Not only is the program great for individuals and their life outcomes, but it’s good for the environment too. By recycling hearing aids, we’re ensuring devices don’t end up in landfill or go to waste.
It’s such an important program and service to the team at Blamey Saunders Hears. We’re indebted to the great work of our program partners also. It’s truly a collaborative effort.