PRESS RELEASE – Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing – Building Project Update
As the 60th anniversary of the deaf centre being located in St Ebbes approaches it is a good time to reflect on the progress made thus far. Oxford’s iconic Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre in St Ebbes has been a hub of community activity for deaf people in the county. Services currently available from the Centre include sign language interpreters, sign language classes, specialist equipment, coffee mornings for hard of hearing people and deaf sign language users. The Centre is regularly used by the Hard of Hearing club, Oxfordshire Deaf Children’s Society, Deaf Club and Deaf Church. The venue is also well used by the wider local community including the blood donor service and a range of activity based groups. It is a regular participant in the Oxford Open Doors events and boasts one of the oldest preserved features from the original city wall – a stone arch doorway.
However, the existing buildings are in a poor condition, expensive to maintain, and not making the best use of what is a prime city centre location. Renovation will guarantee an income stream to future-proof the charity as well as better meeting the needs of both the deaf and hard of hearing community and the wider community, and increasing interaction between them.
To date a feasibility study has been completed by Oxford Architects offering a range of options. A decision was made based on flexibility of layout to produce a warm, welcoming, self financing local community centre that would provide a flagship model for a modern deaf centre. Funding from the Local Sustainability Fund will allow the purchase of the expertise to produce a sustainable business and service model for the new centre.
Since the merger of Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre and Deaf Direct, after many years of discussing the renovation of the centre, we are now better placed to move forward with the building project. There is a clear plan of action and the speed of progress will depend on the willingness of funders and lenders to make this happen.
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.