June 2007 Newsletter

RNID Community Awards
To celebrate Deaf Awareness Week, the RNID searched the country for local champions who are changing the world for deaf and hard of hearing people. Barbara Shields from Southport nominated Maureen Doyle from Practice Makes Perfect for one of these Community Awards.

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Barbara says: “In the last 5 years since I have known Maureen, she has lived and breathed the importance of learning Sign Language. And despite not being in the best of health herself, she has so consistently given up her time and energies, it is hard not to be impressed by her remarkable dedication to ‘reach and teach’ the local and wider community about the importance of Sign Language in today’s society.”

Dr John Low, Chief Executive of RNID, says: “Maureen Doyle has done much to improve the lives of deaf and hard of hearing people in Southport. RNID has been working to overcome the barriers and stigma faced by deaf and hard of hearing people for more than 95 years. However, we cannot do this without the continued support of local people, who raise awareness of hearing loss in their communities, encourage best practice or dedicate their lives to helping deaf and hard of hearing people in some way just like Maureen Doyle.”

BDA Conference in Southport
The BDA Annual Conference is in Southport from Wednesday August 8 to Saturday August 11, and will be at the Floral Hall. Cost is £15 per day, but attendance on the Wednesday is free.

Something Special
Something Special on the CBeebies site has signing practice for young children.

Blitz, Bitz and Friendz
In April PMP was pleased to announce the start of another evening session at the Marian Centre. This is different to the Monday session in that it is more of a social evening with games and fund-raising.

There are two groups: a ladies’ group meeting in the main room called Blitz, Bitz & Friendz, and a second group in another room where PMP members can practice, improve and share their Sign Language skills.

‘Blitz, Bitz & Friendz’ is an opportunity to play Blitz, a Dutch card game, and other board games including Scrabble, Upword, Countdown and Draughts.

Volunteers are needed to run the library, refreshments and raffles.

Admission is £2, which includes refreshments and a free raffle ticket.

[This group no longer runs, but is mentioned here for historical reasons.]

C.V.S. Annual General Meeting
The C.V.S. held their AGM in March at Waterside Lodge, and they asked Practice Makes Perfect to put up a display. Maureen, Chantelle and Maria all attended.

Learning to Lipread CD
Dr Mary Allen Ph.D. sent us a small supply of her Learning to Lipread CD. The cost is £30 plus p&p £2.50. Her CD is a great learning aid for people needing to learn how lipread and who are unable to attend a course locally.

We have also received a free CD for our Library.

Taster sessions at Southport Library
From March the monthly Taster Sessions at Southport Library changed to the new start time of 1.30pm.

Communication needs for deafblind
dbMaureen has met Linda Lawson, Regional Development Officer for DeafBlind UK to share information and chat about communication needs in the community. Part of Linda’s job is to visit people in their own home to give them help and advice.

DeafBlind.UK have a 24-hour Helpline. The number is: 0800-132320.

We have always included the Deaf/blind alphabet in our practice classes, and this year we intend to raise public awareness that there is a need for knowing how to do the Deaf/Blind manual alphabet.

Some members of our group said that they would like to learn more about Braille and know how to write Braille ourselves. One of our members, Anne Bradley, has been able to provide us, on a long-term loan basis, with a grid for writing Braille and information about the Braille alphabet. One is for reading and another for writing.

Southport’s local Blind Society is in Wright Street, and is open 10 till 3pm, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Enquiries to: Lawrence Paton on 01704-534555.

The Torch Fellowship meet at Canning Road Church once a month on a Saturday. Contact number is 01704-226670.