Deaf youngster is up for award for helping others

AWARD: The final of the British Red Cross Humanitarian Citizen awards is to be held at Westminster Palace - the Houses of Parliament - on November 18.

AWARD: The final of the British Red Cross Humanitarian Citizen awards is to be held at Westminster Palace - the Houses of Parliament - on November 18.

First published in News

GOLDEN-hearted teenager Danielle Davies, who is profoundly deaf, has been shortlisted for a national award for her work to help others just like her.

The 19-year-old, of Eastwood Drive, Kidderminster, took her hearing aids out - to once again experience life with only muffled sound - for a week as part of her fundraising.

Her efforts brought in about £1,500 for the National Deaf Children's Society.

Now she is shortlisted for the British Red Cross Humanitarian Citizen awards for people under 25.

Ms Davies, who is studying social services at the University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham, was born with incurable hearing loss, caused by damage to the hair cells near to the cochlea.

"I was provided with two hearing aids by the NHS when I was two months old and have worn them ever since," she said.

"I was extremely skilled at lip reading and rely on this communication up to the present day.

"But taking my hearing aids out for a week showed me just how much I take them for granted now. It was the hardest week of my life."

When she was four she was given a chance to go on holiday with her family, provided by the National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS).

"I felt so capable, with a sense of belonging, as I was just like all the other kids participating in activities and music entertainment," she said.

"Moving forward, the charity provided me with radio links and hearing equipment to aid my education studies.

"The NDCS charity is extremely close to my heart and I feel that events and donations enable them to give important aid to deaf children.

"My hearing impairment has made me realise how lucky I am to have hearing aids that allow me to communicate.

"Can you imagine being under water and what it’s like to try and communicate?"

During her week of fundraising Ms Davies, besides removing he hearing aids, organised a Student Union bar event and cake sales on campus.

A group of university friends helped her to promote the effort, wearing NDCS tee shirts and collecting donations.

In Kidderminster, her workplace, local pubs, family and friends got busy with collection buckets.

Ms Davies' aunt, April Whetton, 49, of Redhouse Road, Stourport, nominated her for the award and will accompany her to the final, to be held at Westminster Palace - the Houses of Parliament - on November 18.

Mrs Whetton said: "Danielle doesn't let her deafness get in her way.

"She doesn't make a fuss and likes people to treat her the same as anyone else and she has given a bit back to the cause that has done so much to help her.

"I think she's well worth an award."

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