Millie Green- Chairperson
Parent of a deaf child with bilateral hearing loss who uses hearing aids. Has held the roles of Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary for the DCS since 2013.
Parent of a deaf child with bilateral hearing loss who uses Cochlear Implants. Has been a part of the DCS Committee in various roles since 2013.
Experienced Trustee, was previously a officer for Swindon Borough Council where he served on five committees and was the Cabinet Member for Levelling Up.
Emily Beardshall- Secretary
Parent of a child with unilateral hearing loss, works for the NHS. Has BSL Level 2.
Les Cavilla- Treasurer
Private adult audiologist who also has experience with paediatric audiology.
Salim Suleman- Safeguarding Officer
Head of Audiology Services and Newborn Hearing Screening Programme Team Leader Based at the Great Western Hospital, Swindon
Deaf parent of 3 Deaf teenage children, with a background in Deaf education, both in mainstream and teaching in Deaf schools.
Parent of a child with unilateral hearing loss who uses a BAHA. Working towards BSL Level 2.
Audiologist/Clinical Scientist at Great Western Hospital, Swindon.
Audiologist at Great Western Hospital, Swindon.
Our group was established by parents who have children with a hearing impairment over 25 years ago. It is still run by volunteer parents today. We organise fun events, provide a great network of families, hold fund raisers and offer information and support to deaf and hearing impaired children and their families in the Swindon & North Wiltshire area through our free membership scheme. We also work closely with audiology and other professional organisations involved in the day to day care of our children. We advise and provide feedback on the services they offer and have professional members on our committee to ensure we are providing a full all-round offering and support for hearing impaired children and their families.
Vocabulary and communication skills are important, regardless of a child’s hearing status or communication mode, and learning a sign language has many benefits in terms of supporting communication with a child with hearing loss. Using sign language alongside spoken language can reduce frustration and improve self esteem, may be beneficial to the development of verbal skills and could also help to improve literacy. It can also help with understanding speech and can be particularly useful at times when a deaf child is not using hearing aids or cochlear implants. It also gives the ability to communicate with other Deaf children and adults whose first language is BSL.
In previous years the DCS has offered the opportunity for members to undertake an online introductory BSL course, which covered Fingerspelling, Numbers, Colours, Deaf Awareness, Introductions, Family, Descriptions, Hobbies and Leisure, Time, Money, Days, Months and Seasons, Food and Drink, and Conversation. Members have also taken advantage of funded places on a Signalong course, a key word sign-supported communication system based on BSL that is used in some early years settings in the Swindon area. In 2021 we will be continuing to support our members to undergo training in Signalong and BSL. If you would like to know more about what we are currently offering to our members, then please feel free to contact us.
As a trustee you will lead our charity and help make a real difference to children and families.
The Swindon & North Wiltshire Deaf Children’s Society is looking for new trustees to enable its continuation. Two of our current trustees are standing down this year to take a well-deserved break having been involved with the charity for many years. We have a strong committee who will continue to be involved in the day-to-day running of the charity and two members who will be stepping up to trustee posts as co-chairs, but we are keen to find some additional trustees to help us pursue our aims. This is an unpaid voluntary role.
We are a registered charity which has been running since 1993. As a local group we aim to provide a fun and informal way for deaf children and their families within Swindon & North Wiltshire to meet each other through running events, such as our recent Christmas pantomime and soft play events.
This allows a support network to be formed between parents of deaf children and gives the children the opportunity to socialise with other deaf children. We also aim to promote deaf awareness within the local community, advance the education of deaf children, and provide support and information as required to deaf children and their families.
The Swindon & North Wiltshire DCS is an affiliated local group of the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) and is part of a wider network of NDCS local groups throughout the UK. Any new trustees will therefore be able to seek guidance from the NDCS or from other local groups on any issues that arise. For example, all current committee members have access to a Facebook group with other NDCS local group committee members and trustees. We also have an extensive handbook written by the current chairperson to provide guidance to the successful running of the charity.
This is an unpaid voluntary role; the time commitment involves attending around 4 committee meetings and 1 Annual General Meeting a year. The meetings are in the evenings and held in Swindon (we have a BSL interpreter when needed). The committee manages roles flexibly so that people can make things work alongside busy lives.
We think we make a real difference to the lives of deaf children & young people in Swindon & North Wiltshire and we would welcome you joining us on the next steps of our journey. Please get in touch if you think this might be for you……
For further information please see the following websites:
National Deaf Childrens Society
Role advertisement: Reach Volunteering
We would be very happy to discuss the role with anyone interested – please email us to arrange a discussion: email@example.com
mission & vision
Make a donation to Swindon and North Wilts
Deaf Children's Society through JustGiving
We hold regular events for all ages and always welcome your ideas and suggestions of what you would like to see. For our upcoming events, visit the EVENTS page.
Our group has supported many families since it's creation in 1993 . Some of the children join us in adulthood to volunteer - We welcome all our supporters.