Meet the Team

No matter your hearing healthcare needs – our experts are truly always ready to help.

You might like to know a little (or a lot) about the experts you may meet, so let’s learn more about our experienced and friendly team.

    Sonja Jones

    Cardiff Hearing Owner

    The University of Manchester PgDip CCC Audiology – Distinction 2010.

    BSc (hons) Bioscience and Health – First Class – 2008

    Bio

    Sonja’s no new kid on the block. Since training as an Audiologist at The University of Manchester, she has had a highly varied career.

    Sonja has worked in the NHS as a Senior Paediatric and Adult Audiologist, but that’s not all she’s been involved in.

    Sonja’s worked with and consulted for two of the World’s largest hearing aid manufacturers where she trained and mentored Audiologists across both the public and private sectors.

    Sonja’s often the keynote speaker at a number of Audiology conferences where she has spoken about areas such as Real Ear Measurement (a special bespoke test to measure how well your hearing aids are working in your ears), relaxation therapy for tinnitus, and how to work clinically with musicians as an audiologist.

    Sonja has a real passion for helping those with tinnitus and because of this, you’ll find Sonja on the Professional Adviser’s Committee for the British Tinnitus Association.

    The education of future Audiologists is important to Sonja and so she is a Clinical Assessor for student Audiologists and Hear Care Assistants.

    Ears are important to Sonja not only in her working life but also in her hobbies. She’s a musician as well as an audiologist and was asked to join the BBC Philharmonic in a short BBC Documentary about Beethoven!

    You’ll also often find Sonja on a SUP expedition or tackling waves in her kayak. Luckily this Audiologist comes packed full of knowledge about hearing protection to keep her ears safe during her hobbies!

    When picking her team, she often thinks to herself “would I want them to look after my Mum?”. With the best team around her, Sonja cannot wait to welcome you to the clinic.

    You can check out a documentary that features Sonja and Cardiff hearing here

    Why Us | Skubala

    Mari Shepherd, Audiologist at Cardiff Hearing

    Mari Shepherd

    Cardiff Hearing Audiologist

    University of Southampton with a BSc in Audiology in 2008

    Bio

    University of Southampton BSc Audiology (2008)

    Mari stumbled into audiology when she realised that engineering wasn’t for her. Since discovering her true calling, Mari’s worked as a Clinical Audiologist in the NHS, as a technical trainer for a global audiological equipment manufacturer, and not to mention being employed as an audiologist for a variety of private hearing aid clinics.

    Mari’s goal is to transform everybody’s life through sound. That’s why she’s not only worked with humans, but has also helped vets to perform hearing tests on dogs.

    Most weekends Mari can be found dinghy sailing, which she fell in love with as a child and has competed nationally and internationally. Mari also loves to spend her time in the gym and has devoted several years to compete in Olympic lifting. Mari also likes to do yoga and drinking tea whilst crocheting to relax.

    Andy Mardell, in clinic nurse at Cardiff Hearing

    Andy Mardell

    Cardiff Hearing Nurse

    RN, Dip. N, BN (Hons.) PGCE, MSc

    Bio

    For more than 30 years, Andy has worked and built up his experience in many areas of nursing.

    So, what’s he done? The question should really be “What hasn’t he done?”. From working clinically as a theatre nurse and in a variety of other disciplines, to being a lecturer at Cardiff University, to even editing a medical magazine. Andy also has papers published in medical journals worldwide.

    We are thrilled to have such an accomplished human working with us.

    Aside from work, Andy loves tinkering away in his allotment, cycling, and learning to play the ukulele.

Our Associates

We all need a little help sometimes, let’s see our team of experts

    Ali Al-Hussaini

    Ali Al-Hussaini

    ENT Consultant

    FRCS (ORL-HNS), DOHNS MSc Med Ed, MBBS BSc (Hons)

    Bio

    Sometimes you need a medical opinion sooner rather than later. That’s why we’re thrilled to have our very own ENT Consultant, Ali Al-Hussaini, to refer our patients to.

    Ali Al-Hussaini is a Consultant ENT Surgeon at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff. We work closely with Ali to ensure you get first-class medical and audiological care from day one. Sometimes it’s best to weigh up your options. If we feel that you need a medical referral we always discuss the options of NHS care versus Private Care with you, to ensure the best route for you and your ears. If we both come to the conclusion that seeing a private consultant is your best route of care, we will refer you directly to Ali ourselves, and his secretary will be in touch with you to arrange an appointment. Quick as a flash!

    So, who is the wonderful Ali Al-Hussaini? Since qualifying in 2009 with Distinctions in Basic Sciences and Clinical Practice from Imperial College London, Ali has undertaken all of his surgical training in the UK and was a specialist registrar on the All Wales ENT training programme. With a wide range of clinical knowledge, Ali is accomplished in all aspects of ear, nose and throat surgery, while holding a specialist interest in Paediatric ENT surgery and Facial Plastic Surgery. His expertise includes hearing, snoring, swallowing and voice disorders, so much so, he has delivered a number of international keynote lectures at the ENT World Congress.

    During his career, Ali has received numerous prestigious awards from The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh including the Surgeon in Training Medal in 2011, and their International ENT Masterclass Gold Medal in 2017. Ali was awarded the esteemed Surgical Research Fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons in England in 2016 for pioneering research on immune responses to head and neck cancer.

    Ali continues to excel in his field and career. He is the Section Editor for Current Otorhinolaryngology Reports, with his role developing a strong international reputation and collaborations with ENT Surgeons worldwide. When Ali isn’t reviewing multiple journals, including Clinical Otolaryngology or Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, you’ll find him running the London Marathon (he raised money for The Royal College of Surgeons of England Surgical Research Fund in 2016) or on the tennis court.

    So, you can see why we’re super chuffed to have Ali to support your ears! What a guy!

    Rachel Knappett

    Head of Adult Rehabilitation

    Bio

    Rachel Knappett has more than 20 years’ experience in Audiology and is currently the head of adult rehabilitation at Cambridge Universities Hospital Trust at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. As a Specialist Audiologist, she has extensive experience as the lead Audiologist for the tinnitus, teenage hearing services and single-sided deafness clinics at Addenbrooke’s Hosptial. She won the British Society of Audiology, Ruth Spencer Prize 2010/2011 for her service development work with teenagers. Further expertise includes the provision of customised hearing protection and hearing therapy. Rachel worked with the International Nepal Fellowship to Nepal to provide Audiology support on one of their ‘Ear Camps.’ She chairs the East of England professional tinnitus network and is on the Cambs Tinnitus Support Group committee.

    Eldre Beukes

    Clinical Scientist

    Bio

    Dr Eldré Beukes, is a Clinical Scientist in Audiology, who has gained widespread experience working in various NHS trusts. Her specialty lies in tinnitus, hearing aids, hearing implantable devices, and vestibular assessments. She has a PhD in Audiology, teaches students and is involved in numerous post-doctoral research projects. She has won the Marie and Jack Shapiro Prize from the British Tinnitus Association three years in a row for her research work on tinnitus (2017-2019). The Hallpike research prize was awarded by the British Association of Audiovestibular Physicians in 2019. In 2009 she received the Richard May prize from the British Academy of Audiology for the best training audiological scientist following her exams.

    Anna Pugh

    Anna Pugh

    Counsellor

    Bio

    Anna trained as a Hearing Therapist at the City Lit. Centre for Deaf People and worked for the NHS across Essex, North East London and Camberwell South London.

    Having spent 10 years with Sense, the National DeafBlind and Rubella Association, Anna retrained as a Registered Hearing Aid Audiologist, gaining her a private hearing aid dispensing license.

    A qualified counsellor, Anna now provides an online specialist tinnitus counselling service and supports people with anxiety issues around vestibular dysfunction, misophonia and hyperacusis. “My specialist counselling services compliment the person-centred care delivered by the expert team at Cardiff Hearing, and I’m happy to work alongside Sonja and her team to enhance the lives of people with hearing difficulties.

    Virginia

    Virginia Williams

    Physiotherapist

    Bio

    So, what’s a Physiotherapist got to do with ears? Surprisingly, quite a lot! Tinnitus can be exacerbated by neck stiffness, muscle spasm and jaw problems, this is called somatosensory tinnitus. Over the years we’ve worked closely with Virginia to further assess patients with this type of tinnitus.

    Virginia is a chartered physiotherapist with over 30 years of experience in treating musculoskeletal problems eg, back, neck and other joint pains.
    Since being involved with Cardiff Hearing, Virginia’s interest in treating tinnitus patients has grown. Together we have had some positive outcomes with physiotherapy intervention which includes joint mobilisation, trigger point muscle techniques, posture and exercises. We can maintain these outcomes through continued self-management of exercises and postural correction.

    Debbie Featherstone

    Debbie Featherstone

    Counsellor, Psychotherapist and tinnitus management

    Bio

    Debbie has over 27 years of experience in Tinnitus Management.

    As a Senior Associate with The Royal Society of Medicine, she has focused on psychotherapy for anxiety, depression and for Tinnitus. Debbie has created the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Tinnitus E-program which is one of our go-to therapy programmes for clients with upsetting tinnitus. Once we have fully assessed you medically and your needs surrounding tinnitus, we may refer you to this programme – everyone is different when it comes to tinnitus.

    icare

    iCare Clinics

    Bio

    It’s super-important to us that we work holistically. Sometimes, problems that we may initially think are to do with your hearing could have been caused by other parts of your body.

    As such, we have linked up with iCare Clinics, so we can quickly refer you to their opticians, podiatrists, and chiropractors for further assistance if necessary. iCare is an independent family business with their HQ directly below ours, and so you could consider our home a bit of a one-stop shop for all your healthcare needs.

    Elmarie Killian

    Elmari Killian

    Speech and Language Therapist

    Bio

    Elmarie is our extremely chEARful and highly qualified Speech and Language Therapist. Elmarie trained in South Africa where she has a dual qualification in SALT and Audiology. Whilst she doesn’t work as an Audiologist in the UK, it’s brilliant to have a SALT to turn to with a strong background in Audiology.

    We refer any children or adults we feel require SALT assessment and assistance. No matter who you are, you can’t fail to have a fun and relaxed experience with Elmarie – she’s rather super duper.

    Independent General Practice Logo

    Independent General Practice

    Private GPs

    Fully Qualified GPs

    Bio

    We’re extremely pleased to tell you about our partnership with Independent General Practice. The pandemic brought a few things to the surface, but what was crystal clear was that despite the fact we love the NHS, it’s not always that easy to see your GP due to the extra pressures they are under.

    So, for any concerns that arise in the clinic that may need addressing medically sooner rather than later, we can refer you directly to the private GPs, nurses and specialists at Independent General Practice in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and Bristol.

    We want you to feel comfortable when coming to see us with any problems, big or small!