TEN-year-old Amy McLaughlin took to the track to give back to the group which has improved her confidence while coming to terms with her hearing loss.
The schoolgirl from Dalkeith ran almost two miles at Dalkeith Community Campus to raise money for Children in Need.
The youngster decided to take part in the challenge to raise money for a group that has changed her life, Deaf Action Edinburgh. It is supported by the BBC’s Children in Need charity.
Her mother, Angela Marshall, 43, explained the impact the group has had on tinnitus sufferer Amy, who has had ear problems since she was nine months old.
The nurse said: “When I first took her to the group she wasn’t keen to go. But she absolutely loved it.
“She is getting great support, she has made some great friends, all the activities are paid for and the workers are absolutely brilliant.
“We can’t thank them enough. It’s become a lifeline for us. We don’t know where we would be if it wasn’t for them. It has definitely improved her confidence.”
Lasswade Athletics Club member Amy said she wanted to do something to give something back to the charity which has helped her so much.
And as a keen runner, she believed the two-mile circuit would be the prefect challenge for her.
Mum Angela added: “I’m really proud of her. We were just talking about Deaf Action and she came out and said ‘Mum, I want to do something to say thank you to them’. So this is her way of giving back.”
Alex Furneaux, the youth work co-ordinator at Deaf Action Edinburgh, said she was delighted with Amy’s run which she completed to raise money for the charity.
He said: “I think it’s absolutely fantastic. Amy has come such a long way with in the group since she joined a year ago. It’s really touching for a ten-year-old to give back, it’s such a selfless act.
“I know she was struggling with her hearing loss, but since she has come in she has met a lot of people the same age as her with different stages of hearing loss who have the shared understanding and experience of what it’s like to be a young deaf person.
“So often young deaf people feel isolation and bullying. There are so many different issues and barriers you can face, so it’s great to have a group like this where that pressure is out of the window.”
Tinnitus makes sufferers hear sounds that are not caused by an outside source. It can be whistling, buzzing, ringing, hissing, humming or roaring and can affect one or both of your ears. The condition can improve slowly over time and as yet there are no treatments that have been shown to directly cure tinnitus.
Being exposed to loud noise can make your tinnitus worse and may lead to hearing damage and can make sufferers less likely to go to noisy areas.