Tinnitus Awareness Week Hits the Right Note
Tinnitus Awareness Week 2011, organised by the British Tinnitus Association (BTA) – the only national charity solely dedicated to supporting those with tinnitus – ran from 4th to the 11th February and proved to be a huge success in raising the awareness of the condition. With a staggering 10% of the adult population experiencing the condition at some point in their life, the UK-wide awareness campaign aimed to ensure that as many people as possible were informed about the condition and the free support services that the BTA provides.
The 2011 campaign focussed on risks associated with prolonged exposure to loud music and the BTA teamed up with its ambassador – radio presenter and international DJ – Eddy Temple Morris to reach the music community via events, promotional activities and media interviews.
A comprehensive events programme was compiled and promoted in order to reach people across the UK. To mark the launch of Tinnitus Awareness Week an event was held at Quo Vadis in London which was attended by members of the press and the general public, including BTA members and many musicians. Representatives of the BTA gave out information and advice, radio presenter and international DJ Eddy Temple Morris was interviewed and shared his personal experiences of tinnitus, and bespoke fitted earplugs were available.
Throughout the week hospitals and health care centres across the country also held tinnitus awareness events, and regional and local tinnitus support groups got involved by providing information and hosting talks on tinnitus. The Royal College of Nursing hosted a conference ‘Tinnitus and Me’ during Tinnitus Awareness Week and the speakers at the event included representatives of the BTA and the Charity’s Ambassador. Also NHS Evidence released the 2011 Annual Evidence Update on tinnitus to coincide with the Awareness week.
Support was also received from the Rt Hon Malcolm Bruce M.P. who submitted an Early Day Motion in support of Tinnitus Awareness Week, the BTA and the need for greater awareness amongst G.P.’s. The BTA is now urging its members as well as people with tinnitus or an interest in supporting those with tinnitus to encourage their MP to sign this motion.
David Stockdale, CEO of the BTA, said: “We are very grateful to Malcolm Bruce for drawing the House’s attention to our work and to Tinnitus Awareness Week in particular. I am proud to lead such a dedicated and committed team that works hard to be the primary source of support and information for people with tinnitus in the UK. The BTA receives no government funding so relies on generous donations, legacies and income from memberships to support our work so its support in raising awareness amongst GPs would be welcomed”.
Tinnitus awareness online
In the lead up to Tinnitus Awareness Week, the BTA launched its new website which – thanks to funding from The Big Lottery Fund – includes new features, has an improved design, offers greater usability and has more interactive and dynamic elements. Popular features were the new blog – which included a series of blog posts by Eddy Temple Morris – the events calendar and interactive forum.
For the second year running the BTA’s social media presence proved to be integral to the Tinnitus Awareness Week campaign. The BTA Facebook page following grew significantly to exceed 1100 followers for the first time. The charity utilised social media to provide general updates and information about the many events taking place, as well as to direct followers to interesting breaking news articles, to highlight tinnitus facts and to encourage discussions among its followers.
Online awareness was supported by high-profile press coverage which was secured in a wide selection of national and regional newspapers, lifestyle, health and specialist magazines as well as journals and online publications. Tinnitus experts and case studies of those who experience tinnitus were also placed on numerous national and regional radio programmes including Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Radio Lincolnshire and Inspiration FM. The BTA also worked closely with BBC See Hear, the magazine programme for the Deaf community, which produced a programme about tinnitus to coincide with the campaign.
David Stockdale, Chief Executive of the British Tinnitus Association, says: “Tinnitus Awareness Week 2011 has been a great success. This year we implemented a multi-faceted, strategic campaign which has enabled us to reach a more substantial audience than ever before. We worked in partnership with third-parties, coordinating events and sourcing speaker opportunities which all helped in our objective of encouraging better tinnitus awareness. Support from the general community and hospitals across the UK also enhanced the campaign and we are grateful to all those who gave their time for Tinnitus Awareness Week.”
The BTA is an independent charity which supports thousands of people who experience tinnitus and advises medical professionals from across the world.
The British Tinnitus Association strives to be the primary source of support and information for people with tinnitus in the UK, thereby facilitating an improved quality of life. It aims to encourage prevention through its educational programme and to seek a cure for permanent head noise through a medical research programme.
The experienced team at the BTA understands the impact that tinnitus can have on the lives of those who experience tinnitus and those who live with them, so seeks to provides the most appropriate and expert advice and information free of charge – via a confidential freephone helpline on 0800 018 0527 and online at http://www.tinnitus.org.uk. The BTA can also post printed and audio information and advice.
Visit the BTA’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/BritishTinnitusAssociation and follow the BTA on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/BritishTinnitus