Christmas Round-Up 2017
As we approach Christmas and New Year I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all staff, volunteers and supporters for your commitment during 2017.
Every year is busy at Deaf Direct and this year has been no different, especially with staff changes. In July, we saw the departure of Vicki Carrabin, closely followed in September by Philip Gerrard and Gordon Hay, who have both relocated to Scotland. Tessa Slaughter has just left the interpreting team, and is also moving to Scotland with her family. We also said farewell to Sarah Hindley, our Fundraising manager and are recruiting to the post.
We are delighted to welcome new staff and it is important that we extend this welcome also to our new volunteers. Paul Scott arrived at Deaf Direct in August, as Head of Operations. Paul is settling in well, and helping to review and evaluate our services, whilst looking towards future developments. Andrew Stevenson, our new CEO, has visited the office for preliminary discussions, and attended our recent Staff Training Day, which included a staff Christmas meal. Andrew will be starting at Deaf Direct in January 2018.
Michael Tickle, Chair of Trustees, will be continuing in his role for the next year or so, and will help to drive the charity forward towards its 2020 Vision. We thank all of our Trustees at Deaf Direct, and at the Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre, for their time, commitment, worthwhile contribution and support.
Our singing and sign language choir “Good Vibrations”, gave their first ever performance at St Pauls Church in Worcester on Friday 10th November. A very big thank you should be given to all involved, and especially the choir members and leaders, who have worked so hard to make the performances such a success.
We are reviewing our social media contacts and bringing Deaf Direct up to date on social media. Our website has been up-dated and other new information will be added in the New Year. The previous changes resulted in our improved website reaching over double the number of users to the previous year, and our Facebook likes have also increased by over 100% in the same period.
Another exciting part of our future is working together with the Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre Trustees, to help set up new potential for the area and development of an exciting new Community Centre building, and widening the services we deliver in Oxfordshire. The aim is to build on the existing work of the Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre, and ensure we can reach more deaf and hard of hearing people in Oxfordshire.
Our Youth Services continue to be much-needed for improving confidence and opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing children and young people. This year, our Summer Residential took place at the Sealyham Activity Centre, Haverford West, and once again attendees enjoyed learning new skills, making friends and being pushed outside of their comfort zone to achieve new things.
We are thankful for the generosity of businesses, individuals and Grant-Making Organisations who have supported the work of the charity this year. In an increasingly unstable economic environment, their donations have helped over 6,000 local people with hearing loss. Thank you.
Deaf Direct will be closed for the Christmas break, as staff and volunteers take time out with family and friends.
Friday 22nd December, 5pm – Office Closed
Tuesday 2nd January, 9am – Office Open
Open every day including Christmas & New Year.
Open 24 hours for emergencies.
If you need an interpreter please contact 07725 244129 and someone will be able to assist you.
So much more than this brief note of events has happened in 2017, but hope this update has given you an insight into a very busy year. All that remains is to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy and Healthy New Year from Deaf Direct – we are certainly looking forward to a very exciting 2018!
Allan White & Charlotte Jeffries