Colourful support for a sound cause

Weird and wacky shirts to help hearing-impaired

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 05:00 21/09/2013
Loud Shirt day
NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ

BRIGHT SIGHT: Three-year-old Madeline Collard – who received a cochlear implant this year – with mum Vicky, and brothers Finlay, 5, and Thomas, 7, showing off their loud shirts with members of the Southern Cochlear Implant Paediatric Programme and Ascot Park School room 7 pupils.

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Southlanders swapped school uniforms and business attire for weird and wacky shirts yesterday to help hearing-impaired children.

Offices and schools across the region became bright and colourful for Loud Shirt Day, the nationwide campaign to raise funds for the Southern Cochlear Implant Paediatric Programme and Hearing House.

Ascot Park School pupils were joined by three-year-old Madeline Collard, who was profoundly deaf until receiving cochlear implants earlier this year, her mother Vicky, and programme members to mark the event.

Mrs Collard had crafted brightly coloured vests for herself and her sons Finlay, 5, and Thomas, 7, who both attend Ascot Park School, for Loud Shirt Day.

"It's just a really good way to raise awareness," she said.

Several Invercargill primary schools encouraged children to wear crazy coloured shirts, with Waverley Park School pupils even researching Madeline's story for homework, she said.

Ascot Park School assistant principal Rae Maher, dressed in a bright orange Hawaiian shirt, said Loud Shirt Day was a way for the school to support those in the community with hearing impairments.

Having the Collard family as part of the school community made it easier for pupils to relate to the cause, she said.

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