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Hearing House CEO Claire Green with some of the flowers that Neil and Christine Duncan delivered for clients during lockdown​

A serendipitous supermarket visit will benefit The Hearing House for years to come



Several years ago, specialty flower growers Neil and Christine Duncan made the decision to earmark a gift in their will to support a local, grassroots charity that uses technology to benefit its members. 

Neil was shopping for his mother at a supermarket when he noticed two children in a trolley who had “something” on the side of their heads.

He assumed these devices were to do with their hearing, and with a background as a broadcast systems engineer, was keen to learn more.

After some research, Neil and Christine learnt that the “something” on their heads were cochlear implants which enable users to access sound, and that the only provider of services to people with cochlear implants in their region was Greenlane-based The Hearing House.

“It’s incredible what cochlear implants can do to really make a difference to people’s lives,” says Neil. “They help eliminate a person’s isolation and allow them to participate fully in life, if they so choose.

“We were very keen that our bequest be used to help people at source, and not go to an amorphous organisation,” he says. “The Hearing House is a perfect fit for us – they’re big enough to be doing good stuff, but they also offer very localised, grassroots support for both clients and their families.

“With the lack of funding from the health system, we felt that a bequest could really make a substantial difference to them.

“We wanted to leave a meaningful gift that would last beyond our lifetime, and we know with The Hearing House that it will.”

Neil and Christine also support The Hearing House in other ways. During the COVID lockdown, they donated gifts of flowers for delivery to clients and their families.

“Receiving a gift of flowers is pretty special at the best of times, but during lockdown it was like a ray of sunshine,” says Claire Green, CEO of The Hearing House. “Many of our clients were feeling isolated and lonely during that time, and just to know that someone else was thinking of them was a huge boost. 

“The kindness, generosity and foresight of Neil and Christine is truly humbling.”

Click here for more information about leaving a gift in your will or get in touch with us. Email reception@hearinghouse.co.nz or call us on 09 579 2333.


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