Ministerial visit to Deaf Direct
|Deaf Direct was pleased to host a visit from Rob Wilson, Conservative MP and Minister for Civil Society, Mark McGann, Deputy Director, Knowledge Sharing and Policy (BIG Lottery Fund) and Helga Edstrom, Office for Civil Society and Innovation Local.
Rob, along with Local Conservative MP Robin Walker came to understand more about how charities like Deaf Direct are building a sustainable future as a provider of services for people with hearing loss.
Rob made his name as an entrepreneur, successfully building several small businesses and creating employment opportunities and clearly understands the benefits that come from voluntary sector engagement and partnership working to build sustainable futures.
Rob met with Trustees Joy Squires, John Purser and William Stavert; Service User Anthony Machioca; Volunteer Lotte Pickett and some of the Deaf Direct Staff to hear personal stories and the roles and responsibilities that make up the team. Rob, who recognises the role that charities and in particular Trustees have to play said
“Deaf Direct’s commitment to people with hearing loss in Worcester was inspiring to see. I was delighted to meet the team and was thrilled to see how they are reaching out to new markets and building a platform for the future with a Social Impact Bond”.
Rob Wilson discussed with service users their experiences of Deafness and how organisations like Deaf Direct have developed to improve accessibility for Deaf people and the positive impact this has had on their daily lives. He also had the opportunity to try out an online interpreter provided by Deaf Direct as part of a consortium for the national NHS 111 service.
Deaf Direct is delighted to have received £72,451 of funding from the Local Sustainability Fund, funded by the Cabinet Office and delivered by Big Lottery Fund. Philip Gerrard, Chief Executive of Deaf Direct said
“We much appreciate that Rob Wilson has taken time to visit us. The investment from the Local Sustainability Fund will help shape the future of our services and help build a platform for longer term development. The grant will also give access to a wider range of skills and support, including the opportunity to establish strong volunteering relationships with local businesses. These cross-sector relationships will help strengthen resilience and promote long term sustainability”.
The Local Sustainability Fund has awarded funds small to medium-sized high-impact voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. Over the coming years we will work with specialist organisations and skilled advisors to ensure Deaf Direct makes the most of these opportunities and focus on developing services for people with hearing loss, in order that they benefit directly from the impact of the funding we have received.