Wandsworth Dad takes on cycling challenge to help the charity which has supported his deaf four-year-old


Jonathan Lerner, from Wandsworth and Managing Director www.smedvigcapit and two colleagues are tackling the French mountains this weekend taking on the route of the 2019 Tour d’etape which is about 135Km and 4,800M of vertical climbing.

Jonathan is raising money for Auditory Verbal UK – which helps deaf babies and young children learn to listen and talk and have the same opportunities as their hearing peers through its specialist family centred therapy programme. Jonathan’s four-year-old daughter Islay was diagnosed with hearing loss at birth and is currently on the AVUK programme.

Jonathan said: “We were recommended to AVUK from the friend of a colleague who told us what an amazing charity they were. We are fortunate to be able to afford to pay for the therapy. But all deaf children should achieve what typical hearing children achieve, and this should not be limited to wealthy parents who can afford services. By helping teach deaf kids to listen better and speak AVUK creates much better outcomes for them.

“I’ve been explaining to people that hearing aids do not have the same effect as glasses for people with impaired vision, even with them in children miss a huge amount of auditory information. But the auditory verbal therapy helps to fill this gap.

“In a masked Covid world where lip-reading has suddenly become very difficult, and access to council run speech services even more impossible than pre-Covid the need for the services that charities like AVUK offer has never been greater.”

You can read more about Islay and Jonathan’s challenge here https://www.avuk.org/news/tackling-the-french-mountains-by-bike-to-help-deaf-children-learn-to-listen-and-talk