Queen’s Birthday award for hearing loss hero

Irene with fellow volunteers.
Irene with fellow volunteers.

A Kirkintilloch health hero who stepped up to help others after losing her hearing has been honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Irene Fyfe has received a British Empire Medal for her services to people with 
hearing impairments.

The 62-year-old retired nurse is a dedicated volunteer with Action on Hearing Loss Glasgow’s Hear to Help project.

Along with Muffin her loyal poodle-Yorkshire 
terrier cross, who is a trained hearing dog, Irene aids people throughout East Dunbartonshire coming to terms with losing their hearing. She was a registered nurse for 25 years before being forced to retire because 
of hearing problems.

Irene said: “As someone who has been a double hearing aid user for more than 40 years, I understand the importance of being able to communicate with others and the sense of isolation people can feel when they can’t hear what is being said.

“It is a tremendous honour to get this award. I love the volunteering and get a lot of satisfaction from being part of the Hear to Help team.”

Congratulating her on her award, Fiona McLeod MSP said: “I have known Irene for a few years now and am so immensely proud of her and her achievements in helping other people with hearing loss, She really is one in a million along with her trusty side-kick, 
Muffin the hearing dog. I’m sure she won’t mind me saying the award equally goes to Muffin.”

A spokesperson for the charity said: “Irene’s volunteering has meant that hundreds of hearing aid wearers have a better quality of life and are able to communicate better with family and friends.”

Irene also won the 
Volunteer Award at last year’s Scottish Health Awards, sponsored by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.