Plug’em is now one year old!
In this blog, written by Emily Broomhead, the Plug’em lead, we take a look back at the past 12 months and see what the future holds…
“We started Plug’em in the hope of reaching out to younger people, to make them aware that they shouldn’t be embarrassed about wearing earplugs, to decrease the perceived stigma attached so to speak, and to highlight how important it is on nights out, when the music is dangerously loud, to use earplugs to help prevent tinnitus and hearing damage.
As a British Tinnitus Association (BTA) Campaign, back in September 2015, with one small website and a lot of enthusiasm, we launched Plug’em at the BTA’s Annual Conference in Manchester on 23 September, and thankfully, it was really well received. Everyone agreed that the idea behind it was sound and that it had a bright future.
We started our social media streams on the day, tweeting from Conference, and now have just over 2,000 followers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
We’ve been lucky enough to attract the support of some amazing Ambassadors and what started as a hope has become a reality. Mark Ronson, Anne Savage, Eddy Temple-Morris and of course the un-stinting support of the Ambassadors who set out on the journey with us, Sonny Wharton, DJ Mark One and DJ Grant Richards.
We now have 25 Ambassadors, DJ’s, Producers, Musicians – and continued interest from more as the year has gone on. The most recent of these is Evan Duthie. At 15 is he our youngest Ambassador, and really will help us reach out to more younger people.
Through the year it’s been great to have been in contact with Ambassadors, bloggers and followers who really have made a huge difference.
We’ve attended music colleges and sent out flyers, posters and postcards across the UK to be given out at events where we hoped people would find out about the campaign and give their support. And there really has been an interest from both students and professionals in the music and hearing industry.
Plug’em really is still in relative infancy, but we feel we are providing information all in one place, which is vital to young people who don’t know about the risks of hearing damage and tinnitus.
The next step…
We are currently in the process of developing the Plug’em Directory www.plugem.co.uk/directory.
One of the most common questions we have been asked in the past year is “Where do I buy earplugs from?” so we hope this addition to the site will be a big help. Many of the companies listed will be able to help you get custom plugs made, but will also sell generic plugs.
You can also get the generic filtered ones from the BTA www.tinnitus.org.uk/shop and you will probably find some local supermarkets and chemists sell these alongside the wax, silicone and foam plugs .
Obviously we aren’t going to get everyone listed on the directory unless they get in touch with us, but we’re giving it a good go. If you have a look you will see it’s just getting started, but it’s really easy to use. Enter your postcode and find out what’s available in your area.
Completion of all the details is going to be an ongoing process – data is being added on a daily basis. So if you view the directory you won’t see all the information there just yet, but we are on it over the coming weeks.
If you have questions just email email@example.com and we’ll help send you in the right direction.
We hope you’ll think the directory is a good way forward.
You can also find out more details about hearing protection via our supporters websites. Each one has helped to produce the directory as most are manufacturers of hearing protection and/or hearing aids. So for their details and for the directory have a look at www.plugem.co.uk/directory.
We want to keep spreading the message and raising more awareness about the need to protect hearing.
You can help with this by simply doing a RT or a share of messages we post on social media. It’s that simple. If you RT, your followers will see what we are up to and hopefully get on board and help us spread the word too.
Our Twitter and Instagram handle is @plug_em and Facebook it’s www.facebook.com/plugemuk.
The only other thing we need is help.
- Encourage other people to protect their hearing from tinnitus. If you experience it, you are well placed to talk about the effect it has on someone – if you dont experience it then make sure you use earplugs at gigs etc
- Why not encourage family and friends to have a look at our website and find out more about safe listening
- If you are a musician or DJ, help us reach out target audience by asking for flyers. We’re happy to send them out so that they can be available at venues.
- Ask venues where you work to put up warning sounds around loud music, or even suggest they look into providing earplugs for free to customers.
Sadly, as much as we want to, we can’t do all this alone, so if you are interested in getting more involved, please just get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’ve helped us in the past year in any capacity at all, we want to say a massive thank you. Because we couldn’t have done any of this without your help”.