After a couple of head injuries and at the age of 27, the writer Bella Bathurst lost most of her hearing. Twelve years later, she got it back. During those muffled years, she had gone in search of people like her - young, and deafened - but found only silence. Despite the millions with hearing loss, there was no gathering for those who through circumstance or genetics had felt their hearing slip away. How could there be? Put more than a dozen people in a room and what should be an enjoyable social gathering becomes exactly the kind of situation they'd most avoid.
Bathurst's book Sound, drawing on her own and others' experience, came out last year and was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. Bella met Emma (the owner of Book-ish) via an in store book event, Emma was born with no hearing in her left ear and the two bonded over shared difficulties, especially in social situations.
Through all the feedback it became very clear both that there were many younger people with hearing loss, and that they would very much like to meet each other. Sound Proof is the answer to that - not an online forum or a social media group or a newsletter, but an evening in a beautiful bookshop in an amazing part of the world with a bar, a lot of cake, several hundred books, some excellent acoustics and absolutely no agenda. If you're under the age of 50 and fancy the idea of a lovely evening, then come along - it will be fun.