Camden schoolgirl stars in fundraising video for child deafness charity

Lily Conlan has been fundraising for Loud Shirt Day. Picture: Angela Conlan

Lily Conlan has been fundraising for Loud Shirt Day. Picture: Angela Conlan - Credit: Archant

Camden six-year-old Lily Conlan has turned into a charity video star to raise money for childhood deafness charity Auditory Verbal UK.

When she was two, her mum Angela noticed that her hearing was deteriorating, and within two years a genetic condition had left Lily profoundly deaf.

But after surgery to give her cochlear implants, her mum says Lily is able to hear some sounds again, and is learning new words.

Now she’s starring in a charity video to promote awareness of a charity that helped her, and many other deaf children, learn to talk despite hearing problems.

The Kings Cross Academy pupil has been promoting Loud Shirt Day - which is an initiative run by charity Auditory Verbal UK (AVUK).

The idea is to wear a wacky shirt to work or school in order to draw attention to childhood deafness and raise money to battle it.

AVUK work with young children to help them to surpass the developmental challenges which can make learning to talk as a deaf child difficult.

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Lily’s mum Angela said: “When we found out Lily was losing her hearing, I was filled with sadness, panic, shock and devastation that from that day forward our lives would never be the same.

“I had Lily fitted with hearing aids and was determined that she would develop her spoken language.”

With the help of speech therapists at AVUK, Lily managed this, and starring in the video was a way of helping other children who find themselves in Lily’s position.

Loud Shirt Day took place on Friday, June 8, and Lily’s school helped her to fundraise throughout the day by collecting money from parents and carers in the playground and around the school.

Angela told the Ham&High: “It’s been a way of giving back to AVUK. They have helped Lily really succeed, and it’s a chance to raise awareness of deafness too. Lily’s been out fundraising herself, and she’s enjoyed talking to people, and even showing them her ears!”

From bases in London and Bicester, they have specialist therapists who work with children who experience speech and language difficulties.

Angela Conlan has been inspired by Lily’s progress to set up her own charity called Hear Now and Always. She explained: “I have gained so much experience and want to help others that are in the same position that myself, and Lily were once in.”