Matthew

Matthew approached his headteacher at Warren Road Primary School in Orpington to suggest a fundraising day.  At the beginning of May his primary school in held a ‘Dress up Loud’ day to raise awareness about deafness as it is usually considered an invisible disability. All the pupils at Warren Road school wore vibrantly coloured clothes for the day. They managed to successfully raise just over £700 which was split between the National Children’s Deaf Society  The Hearing Fund UK and a local charity. Matthew spoke to the class about his deafness and how his hearing aid works. This was his opportunity to make his classmates fully aware of the difficulties he has at school.  One of his friends asked Matthew what it is like to have just one ear and Matthew’s response was ‘What’s it like to have two?’ !! As a result Matthew felt far more far more confident about dealing with his disability.

The Hearing Fund UK invited Matthew to attend the official launch of the charity in Leeds in September. During the weekend Matthew joined Merrill Osmond and his son Justin, on stage to talk about his hearing impairment and fundraising .During the Gala evening Justin presented Matthew with a violin which was something he had been longing for . Matthew has now started violin lessons at school and will hopefully achieve his goal to play the violin on stage with Justin at the next gala.

After the weekend in Leeds , Matthew returned to school more inspired and determined to raise money for The Hearing Fund UK and has been telling everyone about the charity and The Osmonds’ story.

At the beginning of October Matthew arranged for a friend – boxer Jamie Johnson – who had been an Olympic torchbearer to come into his school so the children could pay to have their photograph taken holding the Olympic torch. This raised just over £1500. Some of this money was donated to a charity Jamie Johnson had chosen but the majority went to the Hearing Fund. Following the success of the first dress loud day Matthew asked to hold another one in October which raised £750. Although he was still recovering at home from an accident at school and operation on his wrist he visited the school on the dress loud day to see his class in their brightly coloured clothes.  In December Matthew presented a cheque for £2000 to Justin Osmond.

Matthew has other fund raising activities he would like to do including a ‘guess the name of the bear,’ ‘Sponsored silence’, ‘cake selling’ and ‘poster competitions’ are a few of the ideas on the horizon. He has also talked with a local drama group in Farnborough, Kent to hold a special charity night  in the form of a ‘radio show’ to be presented by the group in the summer of 2013. The idea of a radio style show was chosen as radio is a media that is not something that can easily be accessed with a hearing impairment. He wants to raise as much awareness as possible and is keen to spread the word about the Hearing Fund wherever he goes. Matthew has been so inspired by the Osmonds and the story of Olive Osmond that it has made a profound difference to his confidence and I can’t thank them enough. He is determined to stay involved in this charity.

Recently Matthew was approached by the National Childrens Deaf Society to take part in a film promoting their petition to save services for deaf children. For this he worked alongside British actress Scarlett Johnson. His involvement with both charities has made him proud to be ‘different’ and fully accepting of his hearing loss. When asked by Merrill what he wanted to be when he grew up Matthew has two ambitions. One is to be an actor and the other to follow in Justin’ s footsteps in raising funds to help other children with hearing impairment and promoting awareness of what it is like to have a hearing loss.