PRESS RELEASE – Merger of Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre and Deaf Direct
Following an extended period of collaborative working, consultation and research, the Trustees of Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre and Deaf Direct are delighted to announce that the organisations have merged. This process has been supported by funding from the Big Potential Fund. The merger results in the organisations operating as a single entity, known as Deaf Direct, which supports deaf and hard of hearing people in Herefordshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and surrounding areas. The Board of Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre will remain in place to oversee local development work and provide a vital local link. The merger provides a more effective working arrangement, combining the strengths of the organisations, therefore better serving the local deaf and hard of hearing communities.
Oxford’s iconic Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre in St Ebbe’s has been a hub of community activity for deaf people in the county for many decades. The merger is great news for the future sustainability of services for deaf people and the local community. The Centre building is very old and in need of major work; the merger will enable planning, fundraising and work to ensure Deaf and Hard of Hearing people are appropriately provided for in the county. The unique location and history of the Centre makes it ideal as a hub for the local community of St Ebbe’s, and the work with Deaf Direct will enable this position to be strengthened.
Deaf Direct is also an organisation with a strong history of meeting the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing community: it will celebrate its 90th anniversary next year. Deaf Direct is known for its provision of high quality services including communication, support, training, information and advice across Worcestershire and Herefordshire.
Since 2006 Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre and Deaf Direct have worked together in a successful partnership; sharing a CEO and working with a shared strategic vision leading up until 2020. Deaf Direct is in the 3rd successive contract period, providing Interpreting services to Health and Social Care agencies in Oxfordshire in partnership with the Oxford Centre for 9 years. This has removed the language barrier for many deaf people enabling them to access appointments in their preferred language of British Sign Language.
Michael Tickle, Chair of Deaf Direct said:
“We are delighted to announce the merger with Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre as this provides us with the opportunity to improve service delivery, increase efficiency, and secure sustainability. We very much look forward to increasing our service provision across Oxfordshire to benefit the local deaf and hard of hearing communities.”
Hilary Grime, Chair of Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre:
“The merger will combine the skills and expertise of both organisations, who already have a good track record of working together well. As a larger entity, we become stronger financially and better able to secure the investment needed to improve our services and re-develop our city centre site to create a hub for deaf and hard of hearing people and the wider community.”
For more information, please contact Deaf Direct by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01905 746 301.
About Deaf Direct
Deaf Direct is a local charitable company that has worked with and for deaf and hard of hearing people since 1927. Deaf Direct provide a wide range of services to deaf and hard of hearing people, family members and carers, and professionals and other organisations in Herefordshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and surrounding areas.
As a deaf-led registered charitable company Deaf Direct are independent of the statutory sector and able to fully advocate for local needs.
For more information about this press release, please contact 01905 746 301.