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NTIA Launches ‘Listen for Life’ Campaign at the House of Commons in Partnership with Specsavers to Encourage Hearing Health Testing and Tinnitus Prevention

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The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) is thrilled to announce the launch of the “Listen for Life” Campaign at the prestigious House of Commons on Wednesday 18th October, a ground-breaking initiative aimed at preventing hearing loss and addressing the mental health challenges associated with Tinnitus.

This momentous event will feature esteemed guests from a variety of industry sectors the campaign has garnered significant backing from creatives and businesses across the nation, who are united in support of this essential cause.

Hearing is a vital sense that impacts everyone, and the NTIA recognises its paramount importance. The organisation is excited to Partner with Specsavers and work in conjunction with the World Health Organisation’s Make Listening Safe UK Campaign, aligning their efforts to create a safer auditory environment for all.

Hearing loss and Tinnitus are unfortunately prevalent among those working in the industry. The NTIA is fully aware of the pivotal role that the industry plays in safeguarding the hearing of individuals in various roles, from bar staff to performers, security personnel, and crew members. In addition to adopting the guidance provided by the WHO, the NTIA will introduce a campaign to collaborate with the industry. This initiative will promote the importance of testing, developing training, and raising awareness about the impacts of hearing loss and effective methods for protecting one’s most valuable asset when enjoying music.

Michael Kill CEO Night Time Industries Association says “I truly did not understand the devastating impact that hearing loss has had on our industry prior to engaging in this campaign. I have spoken to hundreds of artists and DJ’s who have suffered for years with this debilitating issue. People have ended their careers because of this, so it is important to increase awareness and champion the future of hearing health for people coming into our industry, or just enjoying culture.”

Jeff Smith MP for Manchester Withington & Co Chairperson for the Night Time Economy APPG says “As co-chair of the Night Time Economy APPG I am really pleased to see the NTIA shining a light on this issue with the Listen for Life Campaign. Hearing loss can affect anyone, and it’s sadly prevalent in the music industry. Performers, staff and gig-goers at clubs and music venues need to be aware of the potential impact on their hearing of loud volumes and be supported to manage the risks safely. This campaign is an important step toward achieving that goal.”

Rob Shepheard Consultant Audiologist says “For nearly 4 decades I have treated countless individuals whose lives are greatly impacted by hearing loss and tinnitus. These conditions are extremely common with people working in or enjoying music rich environments. Although this sound induced injury is permanent, it is also 100% avoidable.”

“Sometimes it is not fully understood how much irreversible effect listening to loud sound can have on many aspects of our health and well-being. As the NTIA’s audiologist I am thrilled to see the work I have undertaken for the last 25 years in developing hearing health conservation taking shape in our “Listen For Life” Campaign, and to see the industry taking such a proactive step to maintain the health of everyone involved.”

Sonam Kaur Sehemby – Head of Clinical Training, Specsavers says” We as health care providers are passionate about delivering patient centred care and understanding the importance of hearing health through a coordinated national approach. Our partnership with the NTIA and access to care report allows us to highlight the scale of impact that needs to be addressed and the steps we can take to start the conversation nationally.”

Biff Mitchell Festival Organiser says “When I started in the industry in the early 80’s there was no mention of looking after your hearing. I can remember one crew putting cigarette filters in his ears because it was so loud at a Motorhead show he had to go to medical as one got stuck… There was no education. The end result is pretty much everyone who worked in events back then has now got hearing problems, one friend now has only 45 % hearing.  I have had tinnitus for years, wearing ear protection has meant it’s not got worse and it’s only noticeable at times. We can’t let this continue and hopefully this campaign will make a difference.”

What you may not know is that, according to the World Health Organisation, 1.1 billion young people between the ages of 12 and 35 are at risk of permanent hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices while enjoying recreational sounds, such as music. The Commission on Hearing Loss’s 2014 report estimated the cost of hearing loss to the UK economy at £24.8 billion, a figure that could potentially rise to £38.6 billion by 2031. 

Moreover, hearing loss can be a predisposing risk factor for dementia, with mild hearing loss doubling the risk, moderate hearing loss tripling it, and severe hearing loss quintupling the risk. One in six people in the UK is affected by hearing loss, and our collective goal, alongside partners and key stakeholders, is to reduce this number by raising an educational awareness so that people can safely enjoy music in their workplaces, social settings, and personal environments.

The NTIA is embarking on one of the most ambitious programs in the world to engage and inform all individuals involved in the music industry we all cherish. It is our mission to prevent unnecessary harm to their health, allowing them to continue enjoying music for years to come. The NTIA eagerly looks forward to collaborating with other organisations that share a sincere interest in preserving the health of everyone involved.

For more information about the “Listen for Life” Campaign and the NTIA’s mission to promote hearing health, click here. Join us in championing a future where everyone can Listen for Life.

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