Rula Lenska breaks 10 year silence about hearing loss and launches Sound Barrier Star Awards
Posted Apr 07 2011 4:22pm
Glamorous television star Rula Lenska has spoken out about her battle with hearing loss, and has opened a nationwide search for hard of hearing high achievers. (Read our exclusive interview here ).
In launching the Sound Barrier Star Awards, the Coronation Street actress has admitted for the first time she suffers from higher frequency hearing loss and wears hearing aids in both her ears.
Rula Lenska, 63, says: ‘I lost my hearing almost a decade ago after picking up an ear infection from coral when I was diving on holiday. I have never publically spoken about it, mainly because there is still so much stigma attached to hearing loss and too many jokes told about something that really isn’t funny. By launching these awards I want to get people talking about hearing difficulties and celebrate the stories of those that have never let it hold them back.’
Mrs Lenska is talking about her hearing problems for the first time as she launches the 2011 Specsavers Sound Barrier Star Awards, which recognise achievement or courage in people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Run by Specsavers hearing centres in support of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, the awards were fronted in 2010 by fellow Coronation Street star William Roache MBE.
"I want to get people talking about hearing difficulties and celebrate the stories of those that have never let it hold them back.’
Mrs Lenska says of the Sound Barrier Star Awards: ‘Coping with hearing difficulties can take an enormous amount of bravery, I know, having battled for the past decade. It's awe-inspiring to learn how others with hearing loss manage and accomplish their goals; that why I am so honoured to support the Sound Barrier Star Awards. If you know someone please nominate them, it’s a fantastic opportunity to celebrate their achievements.’
One in seven people in the UK have hearing problems. Anyone can nominate themselves, a friend or family member to enter the Sound Barrier Star Awards by visiting one of over 400 Specsavers hearing centres nationwide and picking up a nomination form, or downloading a form online at www.specsavers.co.uk/hearing . Entrants will be asked to explain why they deserve to win.
Specsavers founder Dame Mary Perkins says: ‘It’s great Rula is encouraging people to talk about hearing loss. She is someone who has never let her hearing difficulties hold her back and is a Sound Barrier Star in her own right.’
For every entry to the awards, Specsavers will donate £5 to the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. Hearing dogs help transform the lives of their deaf owners by alerting them to sounds that those with good hearing take for granted, allowing them greater independence, confidence and security,
Jenny Smith, recipient of hearing dog Molly, and a trustee of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People says: ‘These awards highlight the work of truly inspirational people who have achieved great things. Please do take the opportunity to nominate someone and give them the recognition they deserve.’
How to enter the awards
The awards will recognise 10 regional finalists across the UK, five of whom will be selected and invited to attend a grand final at The Savile Club in London on the 14 September 2011.
The nine runners-up will also receive goody bags, including a £250 holiday voucher courtesy of Phoenix Holidays.
Entry forms are available in over 400 Specsavers hearing centres across the UK. The entry form can also be downloaded from www.specsavers.co.uk/hearing or www.hearingdogs.org.uk.
The closing date for entries is Friday 1 July 2011.