Registered Charity no. 218341  |   Telephone: 01872 225 868


Registered Charity no. 218341  |  01872 225 868  |

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Deafness, the hidden disability


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

Robert Fitzsimmons

Chair of Trustees

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


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 works as a Laboratory Manager in Plymouth. His interest in deafness arose because his second son, Alexander, now working as a Clinical Psychologist in 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).

Janet Hocking


Janet runs her own business in Pool Market selling greetings cards, gifts and confectionery having worked most of her life in banking and insurance. Janet has always enjoyed working with the public and has helped her local community acting as a Special Constable for the Police and a member of the St John Ambulance Brigade. Janet enjoys the outdoor life and currently volunteers as a walk leader and co-ordinator for the “Walking for Health” group in the St Stephen area.


Elizabeth Davies


Now a retired teacher, Liz was diagnosed with 70% hearing loss at the age of 40 and then suddenly lost her remaining hearing. She believes that it is vital that those who are losing their hearing have a support network to which they can turn as, in the sound based world, loss of hearing is very isolating and life can become very lonely.

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





‘Sarah Newton was the local Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth elected in May 2010. Her work in Parliament had seen her stand up for improvements to Cornwall’s public services that had historically been underfunded. Sarah is passionate about helping the most vulnerable in our society and also those who look after them. “Loss of hearing affects many people and I have seen how it devastates the lives of those with the condition. I am proud to support the fantastic work of Hearing Loss Cornwall and I often meet people whose lives have been improved as a result of this charity’s fantastic work."



“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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