Registered Charity no. 218341  |   Telephone: 01872 225 868


Registered Charity no. 218341  |  01872 225 868  |


Deafness, the hidden disability


We couldn't operate without a dedicated group of supporters and trustees.

Robert Fitzsimmons


Previously Chairman for several years, Robert was the first Deaf Trustee of the previously named Cornwall Deaf Association back in 1989, and became the first Deaf chairman in the Deaf Association's history. Robert also represented the Cornwall Community Deaf Centre for many years until it nominated its own independent Trustees. "With the help of Hearing Loss Cornwall, I successfully campaigned for the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust to put an entry phone system at the entrance area of their hospitals. I realised how disadvantaged d/Deaf people were, at being unable to gain entry to hospitals at night time".

Terence Spivey

Chair of Trustees

My name is Terence Spivey, aged 63 and a proud Yorkshireman having moved to live in Camborne in May 2017. I am entitled to live in Cornwall as I am married to a Cornish lady, Helen.  I am deaf with speech and fluent in BSL and SSE as well as Makaton.

I have over 20 years experience doing all those jobs. I have also taught BSL in Leeds for 12 years after gaining City and Guilds Adults and Further Education Teaching Certificate.  I have worked as Special needs Deaf Instructor with Deaf children in Leeds, Mental Health Support Worker in Leeds, Residential Social Worker in Manchester/Stockport and Support Worker with Deaf Adults with learning disabilities with additional needs in Surrey and Leeds before moving to live in Camborne.


Richard Margetts


Richard retired from his role as a Laboratory Manager in Plymouth at the end of March 2019. His interest in deafness arose because his second son, Alexander, now working for the NHS as a Clinical Psychologist in Leicester and London, has had a significant bilateral hearing impairment since birth and uses two hearing aids. Richard is also a Churchwarden and a member of the diocesan support group for Rev Canon Debbie Harvey's chaplaincy work.

Sarah Wardle


My name is Sarah Wardle and I have been severely deaf from birth. I am a qualified Teacher of the Deaf and moved to Cornwall in 1986 to start my first job with the Cornwall Audiology Service (as it was known then) and have been here ever since!

I am passionate about breaking down the communication barriers faced by many deaf people, whether Deaf, deaf, deafened or hard of hearing so that we can achieve our aspirations and be fully included in the community here in Cornwall. Having the correct communication support, access to appropriate assistive technology and excellent deaf awareness within the community in Cornwall is key to making this happen.

In my spare time, I have been developing my BSL skills, travelling to Hampshire and Sussex to attend courses and making new friends. In addition I have done voluntary work with Action on Hearing Loss, Cornwall Deaf Church under Debbie Harvey’s leadership and am treasurer for the South West BATOD (British Association for Teachers of the Deaf).

Peter Cale

Peter Cale






Rachel Fisher


After a forty year career in Healthcare Management and Occupational Therapy, latterly specialising in Adult Social Care for adults and Forensic Psychiatry, Rachel retired as Associate Director of Therapies and returned to Truro. She is now active in various fitness pursuits and sits on the board of a local Housing Association.



Dr. Richard Cranage


After obtaining a first degree and a PhD in Physics, Richard trained in Medical Physics and spent his career working in the NHS. He was head of the Medical Physics Department at Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske from 1991 until 2010 and since retiring from full time work, he has done some consultancy work for the NHS and a private company which helps design hospitals.

The Medical Physics Department at Treliske was involved in the calibration and repair of audiometers and RF hearing aids for the NHS and the County Audiology service. He also has personal experience in specifying Assistive Technology Systems for clients with severe physical disabilities. Richard was also a Trustee (Board member) of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society from 1997 to 2006 and Chair from 2001 to 2004.


Jane Ninnis

Jane Ninnis worked as a Hearing Therapist in Cornwall for 37 years until her retirement in 2018. She established the Hearing Therapy service, initially at the Audiology Department in City Hospital, Truro before moving to the Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske). She had a particular interest in helping people with tinnitus as well as identifying those deafened people that might benefit from a cochlear implant and helped to set up support groups for these groups of patients. Jane has personal experience of hearing loss & tinnitus and wears 2 hearing aids. Since retiring, she has become an active member of the Carrick U3A, attending various groups including walking, science and French conversation. She is also a fluent Cornish language speaker and bard of the Cornish Gorsedh. Jane relaxes by spending time in her garden, reading, knitting and swimming.






“If your reflex is everyone feels lonely sometimes, you would be right. But you would also be understating the loneliness we feel.”

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