My experience volunteering with Deaf Direct, by Lotte
|I have been involved with Deaf Direct since I was 8 years old (2002) when I was supported by the Youth Groups and Residentials, after finding out I have a conductive hearing impairment. I am now 21 and continue to help Deaf Direct by volunteering at Deaf Direct Worcester in Vesta Tilley Office to help all of the services that they offer!
My Volunteering at Deaf Direct includes helping with events and stalls (i.e. putting together display boards, giving information about services), making up and posting out Welcome Packs and general admin tasks as and when required. In the past I was a Youth Volunteer where I helped out at residentials, this role included coming up with games and challenges while staff were busy going over information with activity instructors and supporting children who were upset and missing home.
Without the support and opportunities that Deaf Direct has given me over the years I truly believe I wouldn’t be half the person that I am today. For example, I got bullied very badly at school due to my hearing loss and being overweight which made me quite emotional and withdrawn I thought I was the only child in the world who was hard of hearing, but then I met children at the youth residentials who helped me to make friends and some have become friends for life! Through the team building and challenges we did on trips I gained the confidence to go to other groups such as Worcester City and St Johns Youth Clubs, the Birmingham MCRN (Medicine for Children’s Research Network), and the Worcester Community Trust Shadow Board. I even did a presentation with another young person from Deaf Direct at the Children’s Voice Conference 2009 – it was an amazing opportunity where we could discuss our experiences with Bone Anchored Hearing Aids – commonly known as BAHA’s (pronounced Bar Hars).
I look forward to many more years at deaf direct!