September is Deaf Awareness Month, and today’s blog is inspired by the Deafness Support Network (DSN), located on London Road in Northwich. As the leading sensory charity in Cheshire, you can find out more about their work here and we wanted to highlight all the incredible work they get involved in. Their aim is simple; to ensure people with sensory loss feel a part of the world they live in.
Children & Young People
The Deafness Support Network offer many services to support children and young people and their families. Whether through youth groups and services, or their ‘BBC Children In Need ‘I’m Hear!’ project which aims to improve communication and help children feel included and grow in self-confidence, leading to a greater sense of independence as they progress to being young adults.
‘Youth Vibe’ is a fully inclusive activity group for young people from 8-18 across the area, with over 100 members and regular weekly activities in Northwich, Crewe and Chester – this supports children and young people to become young leaders and Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award Holders, as well as being a Directly Licensed Centre of the DofE awards. Hosting both regular and special seasonal activities, click here for more details on a group in your area.
Services for adults
For adults with sensory loss, there’s a wealth of support and advice through DSN. Whether through their audiology health care services including the treatment of hearing loss and balance disorders, to helpful partnerships with not-for-profit businesses who can offer audio and visual devices that will make a difference to your lifestyle, there’s a whole host of advice and guidance on innovations in audiology technology.
They have Day Services at the Tannery at their HQ in Northwich, providing users with opportunities and encouragement to review their development, progress and explore new challenges – this helps DSN and the user alike in the adoption of new and interesting ways of learning and the improvement of experience and skills. There’s an extensive life skills programme, ever weekly gym sessions to build confidence, encourage physical activity and create a peer support network.
The DSN website contains handy links to local Deaf Clubs and Deaf Centres, which are well attended by the local D/deaf community. They also have four Supported Living group homes providing support and care, 24 hours a day for Deaf and Deafblind adults with additional learning disabilities and/or complex needs.
Services for professionals
DSN’s communications team delivers a range of essential services to help support our community including interpreters for deaf/deafblind and BSL/English, note-takers, professional lip-speakers and speech-to-text operators. They also offer chargeable training courses for professionals through their training arm ‘incus’ on a number of accredited courses including Deaf Awareness and BSL levels 1 to 6 and to interpreter level.
How you can support them
To start with, if you’ve enjoyed this blog you could share this blog on your own social media, raising awareness of what’s available as after all, you only know what you know. You can fundraise for DSN, or if you wish, leave a gift to them in your Will.
Or have you been looking for an ideal volunteering opportunity?
Look no further! They’re always keen to speak to potential Trustees and Volunteers alike. With many and varied volunteering opportunities available, one this is sure; when you volunteer with DSN your skills, time, and enthusiasm will help us to provide vital quality support services that make a positive difference to the lives of local Deaf and hard of hearing people, improving their equality of access, life experiences, and opportunities.
Northwich has some of the biggest events in Cheshire, below is a just a selection of what we have to offer.