FLAMBOYANT fashion could help change the lives of children born with hearing problems.

Deaf children's charity Auditory Verbal UK, based in Chesterton near Bicester, wants people to get dressed up and help raise awareness for Loud Shirt Day.

The charity will dig out novelty ties, garish tops and hazardously bright hats from the back of the wardrobe to 'wear it loud' on Friday, June 16.

Bicester Town Mayor Les Sibley has already pledged his support for the day and it will mark the first fundraiser for the charity since it became one of his charities of the year.

He said: "It is a privilege to nominate Auditory Verbal UK as one of my chosen charities for the mayoral year.

"On a recent visit to their centre at Chesterton I was impressed by the work of a committed and dedicated team, who along with parents achieve remarkable results with the children.

"The transformation of children from an early age, growing in confidence and communicating with others after one-to-one tuition and therapy, is life-changing.

"This has allowed some children to go on and achieve amazing things in their lives."

The partnership between the charity and the mayor will be officially launched with Loud Shirt Day and local businesses and community groups are encouraged to wear their loudest shirts, hats or ties to help raise awareness for Auditory Verbal UK.

The charity has been based in the village near Bicester since 2003 and works with babies through to youngsters aged three-and-a-half.

Auditory Verbal UK head of fundraising Emma Johnson said: "We work with deaf children in the belief that every child born deaf should have the same opportunities as any other child.

"We work with children from pre-school age to about three-and-a-half as this is when their brains are most receptive to sound and language.

"Therapy is tailored to each person but is play-based to help a child hear."

The charity, which helped about 40 families last year from Bicester and surrounding areas, hosts fortnightly sessions over about two to three years for children born deaf.

According to the charity 80 per cent of it the children it works with finish their course with speech and language levels the same as hearing children.

Across the country it works with about 100 families a year and gets no statutory funding for the courses, which cost about £6,500 for each child each year.

Auditory Verbal UK corporate relationships manager Charlotte Shepherd said: "We are delighted to be chosen as one of the mayor's charities of the year as it gives us the opportunity to show what we do.

"We want to get out there and speak with families who might have deaf children and work even more with the locally community.

"That's exactly what Loud Shirt Day is about – not just fundraising but raising awareness too."

For more details on hosting a fundraising Loud Shirt Day see avuk.org