Getting involved (19-25)
With your help, we can make a real difference to the lives of deaf young adults and help to break down the barriers.
There’s lots of ways you can get involved! You could volunteer for us, add your voice to our campaigning work or do some fundraising! You might even want to become a member.
For more information about how you can get involved, send us an email and tell us what you're interested in.
Volunteering in the UK or abroad can be a real boost to your confidence. Being deaf should not stop you and there are hundreds of deaf young people who have succeeded in making these opportunities work for them.
Voluntary work can be as little as a few hours a week, or as much more – the choice is yours!
- Develop new skills, such as teamwork, independence and self-confidence.
- Achieving a personal challenge – completing a new activity, travel to different places.
- Great opportunity to add to your CV, which will be useful for the future.
- Some paid jobs recruit people who have done voluntary work first.
- Meet people who might be able to help you in the future. These might be people who could give you a job, introduce you to someone who can, or simply write a good reference for you.
Volunteer for us
Our young volunteers are deaf young people aged 16–25 who we have trained to become volunteers. They might be volunteering with us in roles such as fundraising, peer-mentoring, campaigning, Roadshow (bus), and others.
We also work with other volunteering organisations to make sure that deaf young adults are able to volunteer in activities like sport, performing arts, conservation and much more. All of our volunteering partners commit to our Deaf Friendly Standard so that their opportunities are accessible.
We also have other volunteer roles you might be interested in, including Youth Support Volunteer – this role is to support deaf children at different events. This could be for one day, or even a five-day residential camp over the summer holidays!
Before you do voluntary work with any organisation, it is important to find out:
- has the organisation worked with deaf young people before?
- are they experienced with setting up a support network to meet your needs?
- has the training been adapted? (quiet environment, subtitled videos, BSL interpreters?)
- are they willing to learn to be deaf friendly? Let us know if they want help!
Volunteering in other countries
We have got a lot more information about volunteering in other countries or taking a gap year abroad. If this option is for you, we hope you will find it useful.
Get more information on volunteering
This website from the government has lots of information around voluntary placements, rights and expenses, which will give you a better understanding of what is involved. There are many voluntary organisations in the UK and abroad that are involved with conservation work, and providing support in the community.
The Mix explains different options linked to volunteering, and what you could consider as part of your personal development. The Duke of Edinburgh Award has five elements to complete for the Gold Award, including volunteering over a 12-18 month period. It is a difficult award to achieve, but employers see this as valuable experience for young people.
Young Campaigners Network
We’ve set up a Young Campaigners Network for young people aged 16 and over across the UK and we want you to join!
By signing up you’ll become an official National Deaf Children's Society Young Campaigner and be able to get involved in our campaigns activities. We’ll ask you to do loads of different things to spread our message far and wide. You might be asked to write to your local MP or sign a petition or maybe even come to one of our events.
In exchange you’ll receive the Campaigns Bitesize newsletter which will keep you up to date on all our campaigning work and what you can do to get involved.
Watch this video blog by former Young People’s Advisory Board (YAB) member Liam, to find out what campaigning means to him, why he thinks it’s important to share your views with politicians and how you can contact your own MP.
Watch this film to find out what some of our former YAB members think the UK Government should change for deaf young people.
If you’d like to get involved, send us an e-mail.
Start your own campaign
There might be something you want to change in your local area so you might want to start your own campaign but not sure how to start it. We’re here to help! We’ve put together our four step campaigning plan to give you tips and advice on how to start your own campaign.
Have you been to one of our events? Borrowed some cool technology from us? Got some helpful information and support from us?
We want other deaf young people to be able to do all these things and more too. We can only do this if we raise enough money. There are so many ways to fundraise (raise money) for us and have a great time too!
Jump out of a plane; teach your mates how to be more deaf aware or do a fun run in fancy dress. Organise a signed song performance or hold a sponsored silence – when everyone has to be quiet, and you get people to pay for how long they can stay quiet!
Or you can come up with your own ideas, just think about your favourite hobbies and activities! There are lots of ways for you, your friends, or family to do something different and help raise money for the National Deaf Children's Society.
Need some ideas? Here are some suggestions…
Remember, we can give you tips and support you with your fundraising. We can help you to plan your fundraising activities and think about lots of things like where you can do your fundraising, is it going to be at home, college or university, work
Send us an email for more tips on how to fundraise.
Your Local Offer will tell you all about what's available where you live.
It brings together lots of information in one place, so it's easier to find out what local services and support are available for young people with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities. These services include education, health and social care as well as social and leisure activities.
Every local authority has a Local Offer website. To find yours, firstly you need to find out which local authority you live in. You can do this by visiting this website and typing in your postcode. Then you can use a search engine like Google to find your Local Offer. You can do this by typing in the name of your local authority and then 'Local Offer'. The first result should be your local authority's Local Offer and will take you to the Local Offer website.
If you have any difficulty finding your Local Offer, e-mail us or call our helpline on 0808 800 8880.
There will be loads of info on your Local Offer website like:
- Support available at college (such as communication support workers or notetakers)
- Support available if you are going to university (including information on money to help you- this is known as Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA))
- Audiology services
- Activities (such as sports clubs or youth groups that are deaf aware or have staff who use sign language)
- Support available from social services (for example, you might be able to borrow flashing fire alarms or doorbells)
- How to ask for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan
If you can't find what you were looking for on the Local Offer website, it might be because the service doesn't exist or because the local authority hasn't included it. Either way you should let your local authority know. For information on how you can do this, send us an e-mail and we can give advice.
For more information on Local Offer, watch our video.
Going to social events are a great way to meet new friends, develop new skills and have lots of fun!
Why not use our events map to see what is out there for young deaf adults?
Please also use Google or other search engines to search 'deaf young people UK activities or events' and find out about different things happening out there.
Are you aged 16+?
Sign up to become a young member - it’s free and you can get lots of information and support. By joining you’ll get:
- a free online Families magazine, full of amazing deaf young people like you sharing their stories, reviews and tech
- opportunities to meet other deaf young people and learn new skills at our events
- information you can download or order to support you
- a monthly email with lots of tips, real-life stories, information about getting involved in our campaigns and loads more
- access to our Technology Test Drive Loan Service so you can borrow some of the latest technology for free to check out if it works for you
- free support from our Helpline and support staff who can give you the advice you need at the right time and in the right way so you can make decisions
- your views shared to campaign for change - we’ll help make sure that your views are shared when we campaign about big things that matter to you and during really important times of your life: get involved and share what matters most to you.
Do you want to sign up? Click here to register as a young member. It’s completely free!