Tomorrow's People - Donna // / by sophie green

"My deafness was found when I first started pre-school - I was diagnosed as profoundly deaf and told there was nothing they could do for me. I was fitted with two hearing aids and then I had to attend a school for the deaf. As I was growing up with my brothers and sisters, I felt like an outsider because I went to a different school. I lacked confidence in myself, I always thought people where looking at me because I was deaf. Throughout my life I have been discriminated against, one of my past employers told me that ‘if I had know your hearing was so bad, I wouldn’t have employed you’.

When my marriage broken down six years ago my confidence was knocked right down once again and I felt very lonely. Thankfully I have my daughter but I went through a bad time with her a couple of years ago and she went back to live with her dad in Manchester. I still have days where I break down crying as I miss her so much. Pain is hard to explain, it’s not been easy for me.

When I found out about Hearing Dogs for the Deaf I got in touch with them and I was matched with Kizzy in 2011; she has done wonders for my self-esteem. I couldn’t imagine life without her; she makes me so happy. Every morning I look forward to starting our day together, she jumps on my bed and touches me with her paw when my alarm clock goes off. She is the first best friend I have ever had in my life.

Last year I decided to do something with my life because it felt empty without my daughter. I was put in touch with Tomorrow’s People who helped me to get on different training courses that have got me where I am now volunteering for the Stroke Association as a Communications Support Volunteer. I also do presentations and talks on the Deaf Association’s Hearing Dog Programme. Tomorrow’s People have helped me a great deal. I have now got a new life with an amazing boyfriend and his family too. I am very happy that my life has turned around."

Portrait // Donna, Liverpool. 47.

Portrait // Donna, Liverpool. 47.