"I'm glad God's not deaf," said Wally Banford, 84, as he was fitted for hearing aids. Wally contacted the RAF Benevolent Fund this summer for help with hearing aids and we arranged for him to visit the headquarters of Starkey, a world leader in hearing aids.
Wally, who served in the RAF during his time in National Service and now lives in Wakefield, first started noticing his hearing loss during church services when he had trouble hearing the vicar and other participants at Bible Study meetings.
"It's been a problem for about two years, but it hasn’t been a galloping problem," said Wally. "It came along gradually. My hearing definitely is not what I had in 1953 when I was going into the RAF. I had Grade 1 hearing then!"
After a hearing test at Starkey HQ, Wally selected small, discreet hearing aids and had a tour of the on-site manufacturing centre to see how hearing aids were constructed.
For Wally, who still runs and swims daily, getting hearing aids was part of maintaining his healthy and active lifestyle.
"Getting old isn't for sissies. I didn't want hearing aids! I didn't want them whistling or stuck behind my ears. Aesthetically, it's just not pleasing. But hearing loss is isolating,” said Wally. "These small hearing aids are just what I was looking for. Now, I can hear better and continue to be sociable and stay active."
Wally's visit to Starkey helped launch 'Just Hear,' a new partnership between Starkey at the RAF Benevolent Fund, which offers new hearing services and hearing aid packages for current and former RAF members and their families. Starkey will make a contribution to the RAF Benevolent Fund for every hearing aid sold.