British Empire Medal for pandemic deaf champion

Roger Hill, to receive BEM

Roger Hill, the former chairman of Cambridgeshire Hearing Help, is to receive the BEM in recognition of his work. - Credit: PS Media

Deaf champion Roger Hill who came out of retirement to help during the Covid pandemic, is to receive the British Empire Medal.  

Mr Hill, the former chairman of Cambridgeshire Hearing Help, is to receive the honour from the Queen in recognition of his work. 

The organisation has supported thousands of deaf people over the years in Cambridgeshire. 

Roger first joined the charity as a volunteer in 2009 and came out of retirement to help run things during the recent pandemic.  

Recently the charity merged with the Cambridgeshire Deaf Association to create an all-encompassing, go-to place for support for anyone with deafness or hearing loss in Cambridgeshire. 

Roger says that he is humbled by the award.  

“It is a great honour to receive the British Empire Medal in recognition of the wonderful work of the volunteers and staff of Cambridgeshire Hearing Help,” he said.  

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“They maintained NHS hearing aids during the Covid pandemic.  

“After having to close 42 community-based clinics at the beginning of lockdown our staff and volunteers opened a telephone/online battery replacement service. 

“This was followed by a number of remote Covid safe maintenance centres, enabling our 6,500 isolated hearing-impaired elderly users across Cambridgeshire to stay connected throughout the pandemic.” 

Andrew Palmer, chief executive of the Cambridgeshire Deaf Association, which now encompasses Cambridgeshire Hearing Help, paid tribute to Roger. 

“I had the pleasure of working alongside Roger during Covid, in particular through the first lockdown when fear and uncertainty spread though vulnerable communities,” said Mr Palmer. 

“Roger stepped up to lead the organisation through a very challenging time. 

“He helped to ensure that people with hearing loss could continue to receive the support they needed to maintain their connections to the outside world, through their hearing aids. He took on a more than full-time job. 

“Many of the people we support had to shield at that time and the risks to mental health issues through isolation were very real.  

“The importance of Roger’s work in ensuring people could keep their connections to friends and family via proper functioning hearing aids cannot be understated.” 

Mr Palmer added: “It is because of people like Roger that communities could be helped to stay safe, supported and informed through that difficult time. 

“This honour is a fitting way to mark his dedication to the people of Cambridgeshire.”