With the Mayor’s fundraising last year and considerable funds being donated and fundraised for our charity, we are very excited to announce our new Individual Grant to support our deaf child members and to support/advance their educational outcomes.
The grant will be open to our current family members only to support a deaf child member.
The committee will be responsible for giving full consideration to each and every application and the decision will be made according to the guidelines of the charity and by committee vote. We cannot guarantee every application will be approved, but we really hope to be able to make a real difference to all our deaf child members.
The types of requests the Committee will consider:
· assistance with the purchase of specialist hearing equipment which will benefit an individual member
· the provision of funding for special courses that will support the advancement of the child’s education
· support for professional assessments
To find out more, please visit our Member Support section to download the Grant Application Form and guidelines.
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.
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.
Annual General Meeting held June 2020
The 2020/21 committee is as follows:
Chairperson: Martin Kelly - “Hello my name is Martin Kelly, husband to a hearing impaired wife, father to a hearing impaired daughter, so I have a personal interest in organisations that support deaf and hearing impaired children. I also have a professional interest as I run a social enterprise to support people with a wide range of disabilities to live as independently as possible. I formed this social enterprise when I became disabled myself and found nothing suitable to support me to meet my goals, which was to return to work. It started from my back bedroom and I now have a training room and admin office in town with 3 members of staff who also have disabilities of various types. I am regarded as something of a know all regarding autistic spectrum conditions I am passionate about people being given an equal chance regardless of disabilities and believe the younger we can encourage children and ensure that the correct support is in place at the earliest possible stage. I would like to become a trustee because hearing loss is something close to my heart and I could bring knowledge of disability (other than hearing loss), business regulations from building my own company, 15 years of working in the voluntary sector in Swindon so have an extensive contacts network and a passion to try to make things better. “
Secretary: Natasha Gallagher - This will be Natasha's third year in the role, having previously been a committee member and is really pleased to be able to continue her support to the DCS since 2012.
Treasurer: Millie Green - Millie has held all trustee roles of Chair, Secretary & Treasuer since she became a trustee in the charity in 2012. Millie is a confident leader with great vision & dedication and has been a brilliant spokesperson for the DCS, doing a huge amount to raise the profile of the DCS in recent years and engage the Mayor in 2019/20 to chose the DCS as his charity for his year in office. She continues to support the DCS in her role once again, as Treasurer
Professional Committee Member: Salim Suleman- Professional member, Head of Audiology and Paediatric Audiology in Swindon - Salim remains with us for yet another year and provides a vital link between the DCS and Paediatric Audiology services.
Committee Member - Sarah-Jane Fletcher - This will be SJ's second year on the committee and she brings with her a valuable link to The Link Leisure Centre in Swindon and brilliant enthusiasm, plus fabulous event organisation skills!
Committee Member - Emily Beardshall - Emily's daughter has a sensorineural deafness in her right ear, she has also had glue ear in both ears. She found that Swindon and North Wilts DCS were great at offering advice and support and she has been involved with the charity over the past year as a valuable volunteer. Emily has helped run events and supported the Mayor’s fundraising committee. She also works in the health service and believes that ensuring deaf children get the best access and services possible is so important for them and their families. She has just finished BSL Level 2 and hopes to learn more sign language in the future. She would really like to see the DCS develop events and a friendship group for younger children in the area.
Committee Member- Louis Butcher - Louis has a best friend who's daughter wears hearing aids and he has learnt so much about children with hearing loss through this connection. Louis has been involved as a volunteer for some of the events the DCS has hosted over the last couple of years and has been an amazing help with organising them. Louis has joined the committee to continue to support with event running and organisation.
Meeting minutes are available on request- Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with 'AGM 2020 Meeting Minutes' as the subject.
mission & vision
Make a donation to Swindon and North Wilts
Deaf Children's Society through JustGiving