It’s been really exciting raising money for AVUK over the last two years. I remember some of my sessions when I was younger and it is great to be able to talk about being deaf at school to make all my friends and everyone else understand what it’s like but also that I can do anything they can do. I know how lucky I was to learn to listen and talk with AVUK and I want more babies and children to have this chance,” said Orson (8) who together with his Mum, Dad, sister, Grandad, current and former school has raised £9,058. 

Orson, from Aldbury, Hertfordshire, is an AVUK Fundraising Ambassador in recognition of his amazing efforts over the last two years with the help of family, friends and his schools.

Once again this year Orson and his family have taken on a range of fundraising challenges and which culminated in a fantastic finale at his new school Haberdashers’ Boys’ School, Elstree.

Orson spoke at the school assembly about living with hearing loss and was joined by Lauren Press, also a graduate of AVUK who attends Haberdashers’ Girls’ School. Pupils wore loud clothes and held a cake sale.

Orson’s form teacher and Haberdashers’ Andrews House Leader Katie Bruce-Green said: “To promote and support the charity, we held a whole school assembly where different members of Andrews House gave information about the amazing work of AVUK. We were very proud of Orson and Lauren who both spoke confidently about their personal experiences and gave information to the school about how their peers could help them. All the boys wore brightly coloured clothes, bringing a donation for the privilege, and also enjoyed a fabulous cake sale at breaktime. They raised a fabulous £614.44 and the boys of Andrews House were very proud of their efforts.” 

The Grimer family challenges this year again centred around LOUD Shirt Day which is AVUK’s annual fundraising and awareness day. Activities focused on the number 6,825 which is the annual cost of Auditory Verbal therapy. They included:

  • Orson ran for 6.8 miles in three days, swimming six lengths of a 25-metre pool, writing a story that includes the number 6,8,2 and 5, reading 68 pages of a book every day and reading a bedtime story to his sister for six minutes every night.
  • Mei scootered for 6,825 seconds (1 hour and 53 minutes) over six days, did 68 cartwheels and read six pages of a book.
  • Avril joined Orson on his runs and walked 6,825 steps every day for six days
  • Dad Martin painted for six hours a day
  • Grandad John also ran each morning despite his troublesome achilles

Orson's former school Mulberry House has also joined the fundraising effort for the second year in a row taking their grand total to £5,013.10.

Orson was fitted with hearing aids at 18-months-old and after finding out about AVUK he started sessions when he was two years’ old and graduated two and a half years later a year ahead on the Preschool Language Scales assessment. Read more about Orson's story and in Take a Break.

Mum Avril explained: “For a young boy who cannot hear the sound of a bike bell, birds singing and the doorbell ringing without his hearing aids it was an incredible achievement.”

“We wanted Orson to be a kind and confident boy, who has the resilience to overcome set-backs, who understands his hearing loss and is able to communicate his needs to his friends, teachers and family. Most importantly we wanted to equip him with the skills and knowledge that he can achieve whatever he wants in life as his hearing loss will never hold him back.”

There is still time to donate to Orson’s fundraising appeal. Find out more here.