Jane has worked with AFD for more than 20 years, having joined the organisation as a volunteer in 1996. She was a Resource Centre, clinic and home visiting volunteer for many years, served as a trustee for 5 years and was Chair of the trustees for 2 years. She also worked from head office in Haywards Heath twice a week for several years, on a voluntary basis, to help with grant applications and fund raising.

In 2005 Jane became a part-time employee as Volunteer Service Co-ordinator and subsequently took over as CEO in October 2007. Jane oversaw the migration of the organisation into a charitable company limited by guarantee and a major rebranding, in 2008.

Jane manages AFD’s NHS audiology contract and secured contracts with four Clinical Commissioning Groups in Sussex. In 2012 AFD became the first organisation in the UK to be accredited by the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) against the IQIPS standards. Accreditation has been reconfirmed every year since.

Jane has overseen the rapid expansion of the organisation to provide many audiology bases around Sussex and the move to splendid new premises in both Haywards Heath and Worthing.

Having grown up in the hearing world, Jane lost her hearing very suddenly when she was 24 years old. For 2 years she had a little residual hearing on the right side and was able to get some benefit from one very powerful hearing aid. However, the last vestiges of sound disappeared very quickly and left Jane with no residual hearing at all. In 1989 Jane became the seventh UK recipient of a Cochlear Implant and has experienced great success with this device.

With personal experience of all levels of hearing loss and of natural hearing Jane has a great insight into the needs of our client base. Jane is totally committed to ensuring this organisation provides the best possible service to Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people.

Jane has served as a trustee of UK Council on Deafness and the National Cochlear Implant Association. She was the proud recipient of the Heath Jackson Award for Deafened People in 2014.

Jane is often asked to advise other organisations or speak to conferences about the delivery of adult rehabilitation audiology services by a third sector organisation and about the UKAS accreditation process.


Laura joined Action For Deafness straight after finishing her psychology degree at Sussex University in July 2013. Laura first started as a Resource Centre Assistant in Worthing, before changing roles twice to become the Operations Manager, based in Haywards Heath. Laura is a child of Deaf parents (CODA) her parents helped enable her to understand the importance of independence and awareness for the Deaf community. With the role the charity carries out in ensuring the rights for Deaf and hard of hearing people, she has made a good fit. She comments that, “Being a CODA meant I knew first hand the difficulties of hearing loss and how it can also affect others around them. I hope to bring all my resources from life experiences and my degree to help those with hearing loss."


  Danielle joined Action for Deafness in March 2015 at the Worthing branch as a Resource Centre Assistant. She has previously worked for a private hearing company in a customer services role, which she enjoyed a great deal. Danielle is a long standing volunteer for other charitable organisations and enjoys taking part in charity fundraising events in her spare time. She also has 9 years sales and administration experience, working for both Corporate and Independent Estate Agents in the Worthing area and in the promotional merchandise industry. Danielle loves throwing herself into a challenge and meeting new people. She feels that there is always room for learning and if you can share your knowledge and help others then that’s even better. Danielle is currently studying at Anglia Ruskin to learn more about Audiology and hopes to qualify as a hearing care assistant next year.

Angela joined the organisation in October 2006 after previously working part time with different organisations whilst her family was growing up. Angela’s last job before joining AFD was working as a Community Support Worker where she trained and achieved her N V Q Level 1, 2 & 3.

As Resource Centres Manager, Angela is a familiar face to many of our clients. Angela is patient and empathetic. She can give expert advice on the fitting, cleaning and the correct use of the hearing aids.

Angela offers good customer service and she can advise, support, give information and can demonstrate a wide range of assistive listening devices from our Resource Centre at Haywards Heath.

Angela has passed her BSL Level 1 course and has also trained as an Assistant Training Officer which enables her to support audiologists with fittings and instructions and she is able to repair and program replacement hearing aids.

Angela’s other roles are varied but one of her main tasks is to train new volunteers.

  Gerry has worked for the organisation for over 5 years offering advice, customer service, equipment, information, hearing aid care and support at the Resource Centre in our Worthing Office.
Being Deaf, Gerry is also a BSL user and is responsible for Deaf Services. She provides confidential support for Deaf people. This provision includes Communication Support for CAB, GP and hospital appointments. She also manages the Darby & Joan Club in Burgess Hill once a month.

  Sarah Carey is an Audiologist based in Worthing. She recently joined the team but some of you may recognise her, as she used to work for the Charity from 2007-2009. Sarah moved to Winchester with her husband and continued her work with the Deaf and hard of hearing community; working as a communication support worker for a child with a cochlear implant and for the Sensory Team. She decided to learn more about the ear and gained a place on the 4 year BSc Audiology programme at Southampton University. After completing her studies in July 2014, Sarah moved back to West Sussex, to start my career with Action for Deafness. It is great to see how the charitable organisation has developed in the services they provide and the difference they make to the community.
  From full hearing Cathy became profoundly deafened in 1989, there was no injury or illness, it was possibly a bi-lateral virus within the auditory nerve. Cathy is blessed with an encouraging and proactive family who pushed for support and actively urged her to improve her communication skills.
Following rehabilitation with a Hearing LINK Intensive Rehabilitation Programme and with assistance from the local lip reading tutor Cathy trained as a deaf awareness trainer and as a lip reading and sign language tutor in Adult Education.
In her spare time she worked on a number of Committees serving the needs of Deaf, deafened and Hard of Hearing People in West Sussex.
Cathy is very proud to be part of the Action for Deafness team, her role involves coordinating the training and any suggestions or ideas are greatly welcomed.
  Anita joined Action for Deafness in November 2014. She has spent her first couple of months working in the Resource Centre in Worthing where she has thoroughly enjoyed meeting the many different people who use our services, and getting an insight into the roles and support that are offered by our fantastic team. Anita has now moved into the role of Community Links Co-ordinator She had previously worked in the voluntary and public sector, working with a wide variety of client groups. Most recently Anita worked for a voluntary agency who supported people with mental health issues and people who were homeless. Whilst there she gained experience of developing and managing services, and she is looking forward to bringing some of this knowledge to her new role. Anita is also looking forward to learning new skills working alongside staff and clients here at Action for Deafness.


  Being a hearing child of profoundly born Deaf parents, Sophie had always held a strong interest in working within, and for, the Deaf community. Whilst doing several A levels at sixth form college, Sophie attended an evening class gaining CACDP levels one and two in British Sign Language which she thoroughly enjoyed.
Sophie joined Action for Deafness in September 2008 as the Worthing Resource Centre Assistant providing aftercare and advice to those with hearing aids, and demonstrating and selling equipment to provide more independence to those with a hearing loss. In Sophie’s words, “the real highlight of the job is seeing all the people who walk through our door who really appreciate the work that we do, and compliment on how much we have helped them in whatever way they needed”.
Sophie is now Audiology Administrator/ Audiologist handling the patient management system. Sophie is also a trained audiologist having trained and qualified with Action for Deafness.
Sophie continues to support the organisation with her BSL skills when required. Sophie is keen to continue improving her BSL skills whilst working for Action for Deafness and has ambitions to become a qualified British Sign Language interpreter.

Jenny joined Action for Deafness in 2011 working on our patient management system and handling the administration of Private Audiology work.
Prior to working with Action for Deafness Jenny has worked as an assistant for a private hearing aid dispenser, and Cabin Crew for an airline.

Debi joined AFD in June 2016 having recently volunteered as an Administration Co-ordinator for a Worthing based charitable services organisation. Debi has previously worked as a Residential Estate Manager in retirement housing and was a Licensee for a number of years. Debi enjoys fundraising and has taken part in the Martlett’s Midnight Walk, The Marsden March and Race for Life. In her leisure time, Debi likes theatre trips, eating out and travel.
  Vanessa is from Portugal. She completed her degree in Audiology in 2011 and worked for a few months in a Public Portuguese Hospital doing paediatrics and adults work. In 2012 she won a scholarship and Vanessa chose to work in the UK for 6 months. She really enjoyed living in England, so she decided to stay around. Vanessa was a locum initially and then she worked for a Hospital in West Sussex before joining AFD in June. In Vanessa’s spare time she loves to travel, enjoy life, good food and photography.
Caron qualified as a Hearing Aid Audiologist in 2001, joining Action for Deafness in 2006 and working in Rowlands Road Worthing.
Caron was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2009. She returned as a volunteer in 2010 and gradually increased her hours, Caron now works in the lovely offices at 53 Rowlands Road as Audiology Administrator three days a week.

Since gaining an MSc in Audiological Science in 1998, Jamie has gained extensive experience practicing Audiology in NHS hospitals as well as working with a major hearing aid manufacturer and a private hearing aid care company. Jamie has been working with AFD since 2008, first at the Worthing base and now at Haywards Heath.

  Louise had been helping her mother with her progressive hearing loss for several years when she first came across Action for Deafness. Impressed by its service, and with a growing interest in audiology, Louise applied to volunteer for AFD and started to assist the Henfield maintenance clinic in 2016. After learning the ropes and enjoying meeting patients in the Henfield maintenance clinic and the AFD team, Louise decided on a career change from video production into audiology. In September 2017, Louise will start the Audiology course at Anglia Ruskin University and continue to work at Action for Deafness. Louise will also help to facilitate the tinnitus support groups in Haywards Heath, as she also has the condition. At the weekends, Louise loves walking along the South Downs, or taking in an exhibition (her children do a brilliant impression of how she walks round old buildings pointing out the interesting bits).
  James joined Action for Deafness in April 2013, having found out about it the previous year. James graduated from the University of Southampton in 2012 with a degree in Audiology, a four-year course. James was able to gain experience in a wide range of fields in Audiology, including adult rehabilitation, paediatrics and vestibular rehabilitation.
At AFD, James is (as of October 2014) responsible for covering the Crawley and East Grinstead outreach clinics four days a week, providing adult rehabilitation services in these locations.
James has a particular interest in tinnitus and vestibular rehabilitation, which is something he hopes to pursue in the future.

Claire joined Action for Deafness in Haywards Heath as a Receptionist in June 2016.

She has worked several years as a Receptionist; she also has gained experience in Administration, Charity Fundraising, Human Resources, and Marketing. As a mature, dyslexic, student Claire followed a life-long passion for literature and completed an Access Course, this led on to being awarded a BA Honours degree in Creative Writing and a keen interest in facilitating writing workshops to help other people overcome challenges and find their unique creative voice.

Since graduating she has been involved in many collaborative arts projects and events, working with mixed age groups, diverse backgrounds and those facing various health issues.

Claire enjoys meeting new people and walking in the woods with her French bulldog, Vivienne.

Joe joined Action for Deafness at the start of May 2015 as the new transport facilitator, organising and driving the AFD minibus. Previously Joe worked as a funeral director for many years in Brighton and Haywards Heath. A few years ago he helped a bereaved couple who were profoundly deaf, but communicated through BSL. This inspired me to take evening classes and learn BSL up to level 2. Joe then wished to use this new found skill and not to lose it, so he began volunteering at the Darby & Joan (deaf) club in Burgess Hill, as well as attending many other communication clubs. The week Joe started with AFD was deaf awareness week! So an excellent chance to jump in at the deep end and see AFD in full swing. For more information on the minibus and how we will use it to help reduce social isolation for deaf and hard of hearing people in the local area, please click here.

Alix joined AFD in May 2017 as a Deaf Services Support Worker. Prior to starting with AFD, Alix had worked for other organisations such as Sussex Deaf Association and [SONUS], supporting and empowering people effected by their deafness. Alix originally started learning British Sign Language to help her communicate with her profoundly deaf sister-in-law. Alix completed her BSL level 1 and has never stopped learning, and last year achieved her BSL level 6, of which my sister-in-law was very proud. Alix loves to socialise within the Deaf community and attend events and gatherings whenever she is able to. As Alix is a real people person she feels that she is able to connect well with others and understand their individual needs. Alix really enjoys travelling and meeting new and diverse cultures, and would one day love to combine her skill with a voluntary trip to Uganda or Sri Lanka, helping within a deaf school.


  Mark joined Action for Deafness as a student audiologist studying and training with the organisation, he passed his exams in 2011 and joined the team as a full time Audiologist.
Mark had previously worked in the retail sector and as a postman and always strives to offer the best customer service.
Helen had previously worked in retail for 12 years, working with a wide range of people and gaining a lot of experience in customer service. Whilst working in retail, Helen also enjoyed having conversations with some regular customers who use BSL. As it had been several years since she passed BSL level 1 in 2005, Helen wanted to practice and improve my signing again. In early 2015 she started coming to AFD’s communication club in Worthing, which is run by Cathy Cobbold who was also Helen's BSL level 1 tutor. Helen has greatly enjoyed coming to Communication Club as they have a lot of fun as well as practice. In the same year, Helen became a volunteer with AFD helping Cathy with the Introduction to SSE course. As a volunteer, Helen also started to learn a lot more about AFD, the work and achievements of the organisation. Helen is very happy and excited to now be working in her role at AFD as Resource Centre Assistant in Worthing.



Paul Todd starting working for Action for Deafness on the 13th January as an Administration assistant. Paul has been involved with Action for Deafness for many months, he has been a keen user of the minibus service either for the many minibus trips or for personal use to local clubs and outings. He then decided to become a volunteer and was then asked to become a member of the team. Paul is a talented chef and would give Jamie Oliver a run for his money. He is also a excellent 10 pin bowler and plays every Monday at Horsham 10 pin bowling center where he is always in the top ranking.


  Sandy qualified as a Speech Pathologist and Audiologist in 1992. She graduated from Stellenbosch University in the Cape Province of South Africa. She worked in this role for state hospitals in Johannesburg and Cape Town, until 1997 when she was asked to join a private practice with a leading ENT surgeon. At this point Sandy started to focus more on the Audiology side of her qualification.
She and her husband moved to the UK in 1999. Sandy worked for the NHS as an Audiologist and continued her private work part-time until she took a break from work to have children in 2002.
She returned to work part time in 2007 working at AFD's Worthing base. Sandy then spent a few years working for a private hearing company, before returning to work with Action for Deafness in January 2013.
Sandy is local to the Steyning area where she is based and enjoys having the South Downs on her doorstep for walking.
  Andy joined AFD in September 2016 as a Student Audiologist. He is new to the profession and is re-training having worked in the Finance profession for 18 years. Andy previously worked in Finance at both Sussex Downs College and East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust. He held various positions within these organisations with his most recent being the Trusts Contract Income Accountant with Turnover in excess of £350m. Andy trained as an accountant from NVQ Level 2 stage through to the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants qualifications. Andy decided that he would like to leave the finance profession in June 2016 and following a nice break to consider his future had the option of Audiology proposed. Andy is excited to be embarking on this career change, re-training and learning a new trade. At the end of September 2016, he started a 2 year University programme to qualify as an Audiologist through which Andy shall be mentored by one of AFD’s qualified audiologists. Out of work, Andy is fairly sport orientated with a preference to golf nowadays, although in his younger years football was his chosen sport and represented Sussex at under 18 and Senior County level.


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