Noli contracted meningitis at 18 months old and was diagnosed as deaf before the age of two. 

She started at AV before she was implanted and I remember her first session in Bicester with Jacqueline who managed to get her speaking before she even had hearing aids or cochlear implants. I thought she was an amazing woman.

Before Noli was diagnosed, I didn’t know any deaf people. The first deaf person I knew was my daughter.

We spoke to a lot of professionals shortly after diagnosis but they were all quite vague with their goals and aims for Noli. AVUK was the first place with high expectations and set goals and a path for her, all we wanted was for our daughter to reach her potential despite her deafness. Within her first few sessions at AVUK, I clearly felt that it was where Noli needed to be.

The structured approach given to us at AVUK meant that we had a clear path for Noli, we knew where we needed to be and we could practice what we learnt in the sessions, week in, week out. The support we received from the charity as parents was also a great help when it came to Noli’s implantation and other milestones and changes.

Noli went to a mainstream nursery Hampstead Hill and the specialist speech and language nursery Christopher Place as well as AVUK. When she was just two and a half her language was at three years and two months and she was age appropriate at singing.

Noli developed a great interest in music and was encouraged to take up an instrument by a music Teacher of the Deaf. We were told the violin is a good instrument for deaf children due to the purity of its tone.

Now at 15, she is excelling at school and in her music. Noli is doing very well and attending Trinity Laban Conservatoire for music. None of this would have happened if it wasn’t for AVUK!

She has recently performed at the Southbank Centre with the Chineke Junior Orchestra in London and her spoken language is indistinguishable from that of a hearing peer.

- Noli's mum, Angela