Over £25,000 of funding raised for local hearing-impaired people support project
The West Norfolk Deaf Association has received £25,035 of funding raised by Health Lottery East and distributed by People’s Health Trust for their two-year support project for hearing impaired people in West Norfolk and Breckland.
The project aims to reduce the social isolation experienced by the deaf community and provide them with the support they need through engaging in social activities facilitated by workers trained in British Sign Language.
Activities include weekly coffee mornings, fun activities, smaller special interest groups and a series of informative sessions supported by an interpreter.
Throughout the pandemic, the project was forced to move the vast majority of its activities online. Speaking on the transition, Lorraine Bussens, Operations Manager at West Norfolk Deaf Association said “although covid-19 has presented great adversity and challenges, it has also brought about some opportunities that we otherwise wouldn’t have witnessed”.
While the sessions were taking place physically, some participants were shy and quiet and they didn’t mingle with the other members, and they would often form isolated groups within themselves. However, the online sessions gave them a platform to really come together and focus on each other equally, which was a very uplifting process for all of the participants”
“the funding raised through The Health Lottery has really helped us stay afloat during these difficult times, without the funding, we wouldn’t have been able to give the deaf community the intense amount of support they have needed during the pandemic”.
Through the funding, we were able to hire a BSL community worker to support the participants, we were also able to prepare very specific public health information Videos, in BSL, about covid-19, as they otherwise wouldn’t have had access to the information through ordinary outlets. Additionally, we arranged for craft kits to be delivered to the participants homes to keep them occupied and uplifted during these hard times of isolation” added Lorraine Bussens.
Commenting on the project, Martin Ellice, Managing Director of the Health Lottery, said “we are always delighted to be supporting projects like this and we will continue to do our best to ensure that the projects have the means to continue their great work and uplift their local communities through these tough times of isolation”.