Deaf Direct in Worcester
Based in Worcester, the charity Deaf Direct helps thousands of people that have a hearing loss every year. From support services to training and volunteering programmes, the charity’s work covers Worcestershire and beyond.
It’s clear that for some people Deaf Direct is a lifeline. Sitting around the table at the charity’s base in Lowesmoor, a group of people talk about how it’s helped, supported, and in some cases transformed their lives.
‘I’ve been coming here since I was eight years old, after I was diagnosed with conductive hearing loss’ says Lotte. ‘It was really good fun and important to discover I wasn’t the only child in my situation. I’ve made friends for life from the people I met here.’ Lotte is now a volunteer for the charity, helping with office work as well as working on residential trips for young people. ‘The next one is in Devon this summer’ she says, ‘and involves lots of activities. It’s really fun!’
Isolation is a subject that comes up again and again. ‘Deaf children can lead very isolated lives, especially if they are in mainstream education’ says William Stavert, one of the Charity’s Trustees. ‘They might be the only deaf child in their school. Our services encourage them to meet up, establish contact with others and learn about Deaf culture and sign language.’
The charity has lots of support services for adults as well, from free information and advice on any issues connected to Hearing Loss to help at home and getting out and about. There are weekly social gatherings for those with a hearing loss or Tinnitus, those that use BSL and Deafblind people.
There’s also a new programme called Reconnections. Working in partnership with Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire, it aims to tackle loneliness among older people in Worcestershire. There’s one to one support that aims to reconnect people with their interests and activities in their local community.
The interpreting service is available 24 hours a day, and 16 hours a day if people need to make a call to, for example, NHS 111. There are outreach programmes for help in the community and training sessions in lip reading and British Sign Language (BSL).
The technology to help people who are Deaf or hard of hearing has come on in leaps and bounds and the charity offers advice on everything from vibrating alarm clocks to adapted doorbells, telephones and induction loops. Equipment is available to view at the offices or home visits where staff can assess your needs at home.
Alongside the staff who work here, volunteers keep many of the support services functioning. ‘We want to reach out to volunteers as we have a constant need to increase the range of services’ says John Purser, another Trustee. ‘Thanks to the work of our volunteers, a greater number of people are starting to come to us who we can help. I have nothing but praise for Deaf Direct which is helping many people to gain qualifications and self-confidence.’
Deaf direct Skype: Deaf Direct
Tel: 01905 746301 | SMS: 07725 244129
Do you have a Hearing loss or Tinnitus?
Our social group runs the second Friday of the month 10.30am, Deaf Direct, Lowesmoor. Come and meet others, gain information and advice, social time, refreshments included. £2.50 per session, no need to book.