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Rula Lenska breaks 10 year silence


GLAMOROUS TV star Rula Lenska, speaks out about her battle with hearing loss for the first time, as she launches a nationwide search for deaf and hard of hearing high achievers.


To mark the launch of the Sound Barrier Star awards with Specsavers hearing centres, the Coronation Street actress has admitted for the first time that she suffers from higher frequency hearing loss and wears hearing aids in both ears.


Rula Lenska, 63, says: 'I lost my hearing almost a decade ago after picking up an ear infection from coral when I was diving on holiday. I have never publically spoken about it, mainly because there is still so much stigma attached to hearing loss and too many jokes told about something that really isn't funny. By launching these awards I want to get people talking about hearing difficulties and celebrating the stories of those who have never let it hold them back.'


Run in conjunction with charity partner Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, the Specsavers Sound Barrier Star awards target the one in seven people in the UK that have hearing problems. Anyone can nominate themselves, a friend or family member by visiting one of over 400 Specsavers hearing centres nationwide to collect an entry leaflet. Alternatively they can download an entry form online at www.specsavers.co.uk/hearing or www.hearingdogs.org.uk The closing date for entries is 1 July.


Rula adds: 'Having battled for the past decade, I know that coping with hearing difficulties can take an enormous amount of bravery. It's awe-inspiring to learn how others with hearing loss manage and accomplish their goals; that why I am so honoured to support the Sound Barrier Star Awards. If you know someone please nominate them. It's a fantastic opportunity to celebrate their achievements.'

Specsavers co-founder Dame Mary Perkins says: 'We're delighted to have Rula on board for this year's Sound Barrier Star awards. She's a wonderful role model and a perfect example of how hearing loss does not need to hold you back. We hope that by understanding Rula's story other people will be happy to break the silence on their own hearing difficulties.'


For every entry to the awards, Specsavers will donate �5 to charity partner, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. Hearing dogs help transform the lives of their deaf owners by alerting them to sounds that those with good hearing take for granted, allowing them greater independence, confidence and security,


Jenny Smith, recipient of hearing dog Molly, and a trustee of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People says: 'These awards highlight the work of truly inspirational people who have achieved great things. Please do take the opportunity to nominate someone and give them the recognition they deserve.'


The awards will recognise 10 regional finalists across the UK. Of these, five will be selected to attend the grand final at The Savile Club, in London on 14 September 2011.


The nine runners-up will also receive goody bags, including a �250 holiday voucher courtesy of Phoenix Holidays. The winner will receive a voucher for �1,500 off hearing services at Specsavers hearing centres and a luxury cruise, courtesy of Phoenix Holidays.


This video features actress Rula Lenska, currently playing Claudia Colby in Coronation Street.

She is speaking out about her battle with hearing loss for the first time, as she launches a nationwide search for deaf and hard of hearing high achievers. Click here to view



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