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ScottishPower Foundation funds project for deaf children

Published Date: 20 Mar 2019

The ScottishPower Foundation has announced funding for the National Deaf Children’s Society, enabling the charity to offer more support to the UK’s 50,000 deaf children.

The £39,000 grant will mean the National Deaf Children’s Society can take its innovative Roadshow to schools across Scotland, as well as to the rest of the UK during the next 12 months.

The charity’s Roadshow is an eight-ton purple lorry that turns into a high-tech classroom. It will offer workshops for deaf children, their hearing friends, teachers and parents, covering themes such as deaf awareness, specialist new technology, deaf children’s self-esteem, as well as emotional health & wellbeing.

Part of the money will also be devoted to training more staff in Scotland to deliver workshops, allowing the Roadshow to pay even more visits to Scotland in years to come. In 2018, the Roadshow visited 15 schools in Scotland, meeting over 150 deaf children and over 1,400 of their hearing classmates.

The Roadshow visited Lochinver Primary School during its last tour of Scotland. There the team met Molly, 11, who is profoundly deaf, wears hearing aids and is getting ready to attend Ullapool High School. Molly said:

“I was buzzing after the Bus came to my school! It was great for my friends to see some of the things I have to help me, like the vibrating alarm clock to get up in the morning. All my friends thought the technology was really cool.”

Molly’s mum, Sandra, added:

“I think a highlight of the Roadshow visit was Molly having the time on the Bus with her sister and a few of her best friends, she really felt like a star and it was great that she could share this with her closest friends.”

The Roadshow team also visited Ullapool Primary School to meet the children who will be going to high school with Molly, where they met teacher Anthony O’Flaherty, who said:

“The visit gave us a much better understanding of deafness in general and especially how best we can support and communicate with a deaf pupil. This will be important when we have Molly joining us.”

Kerry Ross, who manages the National Deaf Children’s Society’s Roadshow, said:

“I want to say a huge thank you to the ScottishPower Foundation for funding our Roadshow for the next year.

“This incredibly generous grant will help us to continue taking our roadshow around the UK. In the past year we have made over 100 school visits, run over 500 workshops and met nearly 2,000 deaf children around the UK.

“This year, thanks to the support of the ScottishPower Foundation, we have ambitious plans to see even more schools and even more children. We are working harder than ever to help empower deaf children and raise awareness of deafness among their friends, family and teachers.

“When a deaf child is struggling with their confidence, independence or communication, a visit from the Roadshow can make a real difference. We want to remind every deaf child that they have incredible potential and should be aiming high. With the right support, they can do anything other children can do.”

Ann McKechin, Executive Officer and Trustee of the ScottishPower Foundation, said:

"The National Deaf Children's Society empowers deaf children and their families by making sure they have the same opportunities as others. We're very pleased to help the charity continue to make positive differences by supporting its innovative Roadshow initiative this year.

"With funding from the ScottishPower Foundation, the nationwide tour will deliver workshops to reduce isolation amongst the young Deaf community and demonstrate the latest communication technology in a fun, interactive setting. It is a fantastic opportunity for deaf children, and we hope it will also help to increase awareness amongst their peers."

The National Deaf Children’s Society is one of 25 charities to benefit from a grant from the ScottishPower Foundation this year. To organise for the National Deaf Children’s Society’s Roadshow to come to a school near you, go to www.ndcs.org.uk/roadshow.