Future 50: Karen Finch at the Hearing Care Centre determined to raise awareness about the problem of hearing loss
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Managing director of East Anglian company the Hearing Care Centre, Karen Finch, is on a mission to get people in the region to take care of their hearing, especially as they get on in years.
“Before I retire, I would be ecstatic if we could get the people of Suffolk and Norfolk to get it into their psyche that they should have a hearing screening test at the age of 55 as a benchmark, and that they should return every two years for check-ups,” she said.
“As a nation we let our hearing deteriorate to the point where it will get worst.
“We tend to go for sight tests, have our teeth checked on a regular basis, and make sure we get our flu jabs, but we neglect our hearing - one of the major ways that we are able to communicate.”
She added: “Hearing loss that could be helped by a hearing aid is a problem that affects one in six people aged 65 to 70 and one in three people by the time they are in their eighties.”
Mrs Finch is certainly playing her part in raising awareness of the problems relating to hearing loss and has led her EDP/EADT Future 50 business, which launched in 1998, to become the biggest independent hearing-care provider in the region with 20 consulting rooms and a turnover in excess of £2million.
In less than 20 years her team has grown from three to 23.
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A clue to the secret of the company’s success came last month when The Hearing Care Centre picked up the Customer Care and Showcasing Excellence awards at the EADT Business Awards.
But the business is not resting on its laurels and continues to expand.
While the company has a main outlet in Ipswich, it’s model for opening new centres is to partner with doctor’s surgeries and health centres throughout East Anglia and to hold regular clinics in these locations.
In the past year new clinics have opened in Lowestoft and Wroxham, as well at the Two Rivers Medical Centre on the outskirts of Ipswich for those who don’t want to travel into the town centre.
A clinic is also due to open in Norwich city centre in September in partnership with Cecil Amey Opticians.
“I work in a privileged area - one where we can change people’s lives,” added Mrs Finch.
“It’s so inspiring to see a client who was originally struggling to hear, one day come through the door all bouncy and chatty.”