Abseiling for Hearing Loss
The former Mayor of Camden touched our hearts with his story about hearing loss. See what makes Councillor Abdul Quadir so special.
Back in 2014, former Mayor of Camden, Councillor Abdul Quadir was amongst a handful of politicians winning the Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award. As a honouree, Mr Quadir was recognised for his tireless campaign in raising awareness and funds for charity, Action of Hearing Loss.
Mr Quadir has lived in Camden since 1966. According to the Councillor, there are approximately 32,500 residents in Camden who are deaf or hard of hearing, and 1 in 6 of the population are deaf, hard of hearing or have tinnitus. Mr Quadir understood this disability very well, having partially lost his hearing more than 30 years ago.
The Councillor gradually lost his hearing after a building close to his residence was attacked by the IRA in 1971. His apparent loss of hearing wasn’t apparent to him until 1979 after a failed participation at a job interview. When he became Mayor in 2011, Mr Quadir dedicated his mayoral theme to promote Camden as an accessible and welcoming borough for the deaf and hard of hearing community.
In April 2012, Mr Quadir descended from the top of the Town Hall by rope during an 85ft abseil to raise money for Action on Hearing Loss to set up the ‘Hear to Help’ service offering individuals with the latest hearing aid gadgets in a shop-like environment. The Hear to Help service initially required £20,000 to train volunteers, and carry out home visits for one in six people who have hearing problems in the borough which was the Councillor’s fundraising target.
Through his abseiling antics, Mr Quadir smashed through his £20,000 target and obtained a cheque of £27,000 which went towards vital hearing services in Camden. Camden has now agreed to become a pilot borough for Action on Hearing Loss to introduce hearing checks for all staff and continues to support the charity.
Mr Quadir first served as a Camden Councillor from 2002-2006 where he served for two years as a member of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission and was Deputy Mayor in 2005/6. He also served on many Scrutiny Panels. Mr Quadir was Vice-Chair of Pension Sub-Committee, Vice-Chair Licensing Committee and a member of the Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education. He is a Member of the Halal Food Group and has been working for years introducing Halal food in Camden schools and formalised this position with the Council in 2006.
Mr Quadir is clearly a dedicated and passionate individual supporting others to realise that their disability does not limit opportunity and is a fantastic Ambassador for the charity and other areas.