of our activity
The last 12 months have seen us take big steps forward in our mission.
I was particularly pleased to spearhead our work towards finding a cure
for tinnitus. In August, we published a highly regarded research paper
identifying the barriers to finding a cure and what needs to be done next.
We then backed this up by launching our own research fund and using
our Tinnitus Manifesto to lobby the Government for increased funding into
tinnitus research. Over 100,000 people signed our petition!
We have completed the second year of our project to assess the
social value of our work. The independent review found that for every
£1 invested in BTA services, we delivered an incredible £12.72 return
on investment, which is a huge achievement.
Being successful in our application for a significant grant from the
National Lottery Community Fund’s Digital Fund was also a major
success, allowing us to become digitally fit for the future, to better meet
your needs and to support more people than ever before.
The positive impact we have on the lives of people living with tinnitus
would simply not be possible without the support of all our funders and
donors. We are extremely grateful and I would like to extend my personal
gratitude for this generosity.
Looking to 2020-21, we cannot ignore the impact that the Covid-19
pandemic will have on all of us and on the future of the BTA.
Whilst we are confident of surviving the immediate crisis,
it is impossible to think that the BTA will remain
unaffected in the mid-term.
We want a world where no one suffers
To drive progress towards a cure
and deliver excellent support to help
people living with tinnitus.
Those living with tinnitus will always be at
the heart of what we do and I am immensely
proud that we have adapted to ensure that
all of our services continue to be available,
despite such challenging circumstances.
I remain optimistic about what the future
holds for the tinnitus community and
Address the needs of our community
with empathy and kindness
Treat everyone with fairness, openness
Be objective and current, justifying
what we do and say based on evidence
Be courageous in everything that we do
and constantly challenge
Our year in numbers
people benefitted from accessing
our support services. A 29%
increase on last year!
people signed our petition urging
the Government to commit more
funding to tinnitus research.
professionals attended our events,
workshops and lectures to improve
the quality of support offered to
pairs of earplugs were given away
at two university freshers fairs.
more video views on our YouTube
channel during Tinnitus Week
2020, compared to Tinnitus
social media followers – getting
the tinnitus community talking.
A 30% increase on last year.
unique visitors to our website –
providing reliable information
for every £1 we spend - the value
of our social return on investment.
tinnitus debates in parliament – as
a result of the Tinnitus Roundtable
event and Manifesto.
helpline calls answered – providing
empathy and understanding to
people with tinnitus.
The impact we made this year
Research into a cure
We published a paper asking ‘Why is there no cure for tinnitus?’.
The study – which has had a staggering 50,000+ views
– identified the key barriers to finding a cure, meaning
we now know what research areas to prioritise
In January, we hosted a Tinnitus Roundtable event
at the House of Commons, sponsored by Sir John
Hayes MP, who has tinnitus himself. The event brought
together leading academics, politicians, research
funders, patient support groups, clinicians and people
with tinnitus, and led to the publication of the first
ever Tinnitus Manifesto.
The Manifesto sets out three steps the Government
must take to give people with tinnitus hope for a cure.
This need was also raised by Baroness Blackwood
in the House of Lords, and we received a commitment from the Health
Secretary to look at funding for tinnitus research. Key press coverage -
from ITV, The Times, the Daily Mail, The Independent, and the Daily Mirror
- raised further awareness for the campaign, tinnitus and the BTA.
We launched a petition during Tinnitus Week, which urged
the Government to commit more funding to tinnitus research.
The petition is also the evidence of demand that we need to back up
the Manifesto calls. We smashed our target of 10,000 by attracting
103,000 signatures by the end of February.
Social return on investment
This is a method for measuring how effectively we are
using our resources to create value for the community.
For every £1 we spend delivering services, an average
of £12.72 in additional social value is created (Social
Value Business independent review). This is double
the expected return of an average voluntary sector
organisation. We are one of just 52 organisations
nationally to achieve the Social Value Quality Mark
Our support group network has grown from 105 to 115
groups in 2019-20. In September 2019, we launched
the BTA Gold Standard, which celebrates tinnitus
support groups that are working hard to be inclusive
and sustainable long term. We’re pleased to have
awarded 11 groups with the Gold Standard in 2019-20.
Our public events
Our information days and tinnitus expo events
provided members of the public with an ‘under one
roof’ opportunity to access seminars, lectures, tasters,
face-to-face advice, and exhibitors.
From information day event feedback during the year,
96% of attendees said they learnt something new and
97% found it helpful to be with others who had tinnitus.
This evidence reflects the positive impact our public
events are having on people’s ability to manage tinnitus.
Helpline improvements and new web chat
We introduced new web chat and text support services to
offer more people the chance to get discreet and flexible
information and advice, which is also more accessible for
people with hearing loss. Towards the end of March, we
also successfully moved all helpline functions to operate
remotely in response to Covid-19 restrictions.
Claire became the
face of our Tinnitus
Here’s her story.
Claire Eveleigh, 34, is a mum-of-two from
New Milton near Bournemouth and has had
tinnitus since July 2019.
“It came on suddenly after a rare night out
where I’d listened to loud music. It was a low
droning noise which I could also feel. I went
to see my GP and was told it wasn’t anything
to worry about and would pass in a couple
“It carried on. I went back to my GP several
times and was eventually diagnosed with
tinnitus, and referred to an ear, nose and
throat (ENT) specialist and a tinnitus clinic.
None of it was much help really and people
were quite dismissive.
“More funding into tinnitus
research is vital, as currently
there just aren’t enough
options for people like me”
How you’ve helped
The generosity of our supporters and donors
drives everything that we do. We’re delighted to
share some of our fantastic fundraisers’ stories.
After opening up to others about his tinnitus, Anthony
decided to challenge himself to take part in the Great
South Run to raise awareness of tinnitus and for anyone
who is struggling. he achieved a personal best time of
1 hr 27 mins and raised an incredible £659.43.
Lorna took part in our Virtual Step Challenge and set herself the
goal of walking five miles every day in September. She managed
to exceed this and walked 170 miles throughout the month. Lorna
smashed her £400 target and raised an amazing £565.28.
“Raising money for tinnitus research is important to me
as I work with people who suffer with it and would love
to see developments to help them.”
“I started having suicidal thoughts. I was very scared and thought
my two young children would be better off without me. I couldn’t focus
on them; I was too preoccupied with listening to these horrible sounds.
I was prescribed antidepressants.
“I went to a support group which I found through the British Tinnitus
Association, and realised that people have struggled and come out on
the other side. Now I do yoga and mindful meditation to help overcome
the anxiety, although I still have my bad days. I live for my children and
spend a lot of time outside with them. They are my main distraction and
my family is really supportive.
“I remember before I had tinnitus I would never have given it a thought
and yet now it is often all I can think about. It’s difficult to accept that I’ll
have these noises in my head for the rest of my life. You can’t escape it,
it’s with you everywhere you go, all day long. This is why more funding into
tinnitus research is vital, as currently there just aren’t enough options for
people like me.”
Adam raised money specifically for tinnitus research
during Tinnitus Week by saying goodbye to his long
locks. As well as raising over £800 for the BTA, he
also donated his hair to the Little Princess Trust.
In April last year, Ian challenged himself to his first
ever sprint triathlon in Lincoln to raise awareness
and funds for the BTA as his wife has lived with
tinnitus for many years. He wanted to highlight the
issue of tinnitus not being classified as a disability.
Ian finished his first triathlon in 1 hr 48 mins and
exceeded his target of £500 with a total of £622.
Leaving a gift in your
Will: Together we can
Gifts in Wills pay for around half
of our work to help people with
The majority of the research projects
we have supported would not be possible
without kind donations made in Wills.
You can request to leave a gift in your Will for our
work supporting people with tinnitus or ring-fence for
tinnitus research. The choice is yours.
Did you know?
Currently, 40% of people will die without a Will. This could lead
to significant costs, and a lot of stress for the family left behind.
A gift left in your Will is an opportunity to give more than
you might ever have been able to give in your lifetime.
An opportunity to provide support, advice and
compassion for people with tinnitus long
into the future.
Plans for the future
We have outlined a number of key priorities to
shape the future of the charity.
During the next period we will further develop our
support services and research programmes by:
– Increased Research
– Development of a tinnitus biobank – a major
– Commissioning projects through our research
grants programme with additional funding.
– Extended Partnerships and Communication
– Establish an international research network.
– Publish the Tinnitus Cure Map electronically.
– Continuing to lobby for the key priorities
identified in the Tinnitus Manifesto.
– Working in partnership with RNID on out joint
– Develop Support Services
– Developing our support services to include
digital tools and services.
– Continual improvement of our engagement
with service users.
An opportunity to fund vital research
towards a cure for tinnitus.
We strongly recommend you use
a solicitor to help make your Will, to ensure
that it is legally valid and that your wishes
will be carried out exactly as you want.
If you are interested in leaving a gift to
the British Tinnitus Association, and need
more information, please contact David
Steele on 0114 250 9933 or email
David and Torryn - Chief Executives of the British
and American Tinnitus Associations.
Thank you to all our supporters.
We can’t do it without you.
Thanks to the generous support of our members, donors,
fundraisers and grant-making organisations, we have been
able to make a huge difference to people living with tinnitus.
Here’s where the money came from and how we spent it.
Overall income £1,346,491
29% Trusts, foundations & corporates
7% Personal donations
5% Sale of goods
5% Sales of services
1% Bank interest
Cost of services 2019-20
Overall spend £996,458
26% Our services
21% Tinnitus research
20% Training events/conference/free-to-public events
5% Cost of goods sold
5% Staff costs
Why we need your help:
– The number of people living with
tinnitus in the UK is set to rise by more
than half a million people by 2028.
– There are around 1.05 million GP
consultations for tinnitus in the UK
each year, and tinnitus costs the NHS
£750 million annually, with a cost
to society of £2.7 billion per year.
– The BTA needs to raise over
£1 million each year to continue
our UK-wide support.
British Tinnitus Association
Ground Floor, Unit 5
Acorn Business Park
Sheffield S8 0TB
0114 250 9933
Reg Charity No: 1011145