Deaf Together: New project unites hearing-impaired people in Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge, and Havering
PUBLISHED: 10:00 21 February 2019 | UPDATED: 13:42 21 February 2019
Dozens of deaf east London residents celebrated the launch of a new project helping their community overcome feelings of isolation.
Charity Empowering Deaf Society (EDS), based in Ley Street, Ilford, has won funding from the People’s Health Trust for a year-long project called “Deaf Together”.
The project will see a series of events take place every Tuesday, at Suvai Cafe in Horns Road, for the benefit of the deaf community in Redbridge, Havering and Barking and Dagenham.
“It is really exciting for us,” communication support worker Dishan Joel Perinpaul told the Recorder.
“We previously had been funded to run our Deaf Social Club on Wednesdays.
“But when the funding ended we struggled to continue with the project.
“We are delighted to have secured funding that allows us to continue.
“Our deaf members are over the moon, as are we!”
Yesterday’s party, held in the Horns Road cafe, saw around 40 revellers come together to eat food and drink and share their ideas about what they would like to see in the project.
Group activities, healthy eating, as well as sickness and wellbeing were some among the topics suggested, Joel said.
“Deaf people often experience isolation, loneliness, and lack of access to information due to communication barriers and Deaf Together seeks to address this,” Joel added.
“There are lot of services and activities available out there for younger deaf people.
“But for those who are middle aged or over-50 – they have no other places to go.”
The EDS has begun planning activities for the project which will include workshops, talks, outings, tours among other social events.
Some of the events will help signpost the services and benefits hearing-impaired people are entitled to through the government or local authority, that they may not be aware of.
“We really hope that we can expand this to other boroughs in future,” Joel added.
The EDS was set up in Ilford in 2011 and around 2,000 people benefit from its services every year.
These include afterschool clubs, British Sign Language (BSL) classes, advocacy support and deaf awareness training.
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