September 2008 Newsletter

Mamma Mia!
Southport Vue Cinema has been showing Mamma Mia!, an adaptation of the West End stage musical, based on the songs of ABBA.

The cinema has indicated they could provide a subtitled screening of this film either during a weekday morning or an evening if there is sufficient demand.

Please let Maureen know if you’re interested, and a group booking could be arranged.

Prince of Wales Networking Day
linkday08 Several organisations attended the Link/Hearing Concern event at the Prince of Wales Hotel on 8 August, including PMP, Southport Centre for the Deaf and Hear Here.

Mildred Taylor and Maureen Howe represented the Tuesday Club whilst Maureen Doyle and Mavis Husbands were there on behalf of the Saturday Club as well as PMP. Maureen D. was the first to volunteer to say a few words about PMP, and Mavis talked about the Saturday Club followed by Mildred for the Tuesday Club.

Alison Wareing was there on behalf of Hear Here. Sue was the lipspeaker.

BSL users can learn Highway Code
A new book & DVD to help BSL users learn the Highway Code has just been published. It costs £9.99 and is available from TSO Online Bookshop.

NDCS Listening Bus
listeningbusOn Saturday, 5 July, Maureen & Mavis went to the Southport Centre for Health and Wellbeing on Hoghton Street to see the NDCS Listening Bus.

The NDCS Listening Bus is a touring information bus, which provides advice for deaf children and their families. Inside the Listening Bus, visitors can learn about new technology such as vibrating alarm clocks, flashing doorbells and text/video phones.

Some more photos of the Listening Bus can be found here.

PMP forums closing down
Our forums have been removed from this website due to lack of use and as such is a wasted use of internal resources. However, we still have the use of Southport Forums where you can leave messages of your thoughts, stories and ideas.

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Certificate for Maureen
Maureen has been nominated for a Nationwide Community & Heritage Award. It is in the Individual category. She has received a certificate.

Good news for New Year
Good news for the New Year – we have received a £455 cheque from the Mayor’s Fund. A letter of acknowledgement and thanks has already been sent. This money will go towards paying the rent at the Marian Centre.

January 2008 Newsletter

Summer Palace
Practice Makes Perfect members were invited by Lisa Cheug to spend Saturday, 27 October at Greenlands Art Gallery in Liverpool to see the flower arrangement that we created for her “Summer Palace” Art Sculpture at this year’s Southport Flower Show.

The Exhibition ran until Christmas. Photographs from our visit to the gallery appear in our Photo section together with those showing the various stages of the making of our special “plant” as well as those from the flower show.

Sad news
We were sorry to hear of the sudden death of 12-year-old Natalie McCabe, one of our Childrens’ BSL Level 1 Course members. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.

Annual General Meeting
We held our AGM on 17 September. Maureen Doyle gave thanks to many people and groups who have supported PMP over the past year, including her Secretary Mavis Husbands and Treasurer Maria Nolan. Tony Wright was thanked for all the work he does in maintaining the website, and Ian Leadbetter from Sefton CVS for his help in getting the accounts organised.

Chantelle Rea-Bradley resigned as Deputy Chair, but remains as a volunteer. All other officers were re-elected.

Maureen reported she had done many talks and workshops during the year, and these are set to continue into 2008. There has been much public awareness of the group’s work, especially when Maureen received the Community Champion Award from the RNID. Acquiring the portable DVD players is a real boost to the group, and the start of the Children’s BSL Level 1 Course is the beginning of new prospects for PMP with the addition of a new adult course beginning Monday, 24 September.

Our Childrens BSL Level 1 Course started on 3 September.

The Community Voluntary Services August Bulletin has included the R.N.I.D. press release about Maureen Doyle’s nomination and recognition as a Community Champion. The bulletin is circulated to over 500 voluntary groups throughout Southport and Merseyside.

Isabella raises money for the group
One of our very young members, Isabella, made cakes and had a sale at her garden gate. She donated £5.35 to our group.

Isabella came to one of the Ainsdale Library sessions then started coming with her Mum to the Thursday afternoon group at the Arts Centre.

Childrens’ BSL course
Practice Makes Perfect have been granted funding by the Local Network Fund for Children and Young People (Merseyside), and is delighted to offer twelve young people, aged 11 to 16 years, the opportunity to take an accredited Level 1 course in British Sign Language.

The ‘guinea pig’ for the course was Keziah (11 years) to see how the course would work with youngsters. At only 11 years old, Keziah is one of the youngest children in the country to receive her certificate for the unitised Level 1 British Sign Language Exams. Keziah has volunteered to provide peer support for the course and will be in the class each week to share her knowledge, along with her teacher.

Students will contribute only £20 to the course, which includes course fee, exam fees and refreshments (usual inclusive cost would be £155).

The course will run 4 – 7pm starting from Monday 3 September, 2007 until 28 January, 2008.

An adult course (16+) will run 7-15 – 9-15pm starting Monday 24 September, 2007. Places are limited; the course only fee is £90. Exams and refreshments are optional extras.

Cath Smith book
Our thanks go to Cath Smith for sending us a FREE copy of her latest book, Let’s Sign Family Topics: BSL for Children and their Carers. This book costs £7.99.

Also a sheet of new Merit Stickers with “Let’s Sign” children’s characters making signs. Each sheet contains 10 separate sign designs in lines of 7 of each design, 280 stickers in all for £4.99.

Please contact Maureen if you want to purchase any of the books.

Southport Flower Show
whandsPractice Makes Perfect helps our signing to blossom and grow – this is the phrase to describe the flower creation that was displayed in a window of Lisa Cheung’s “Summer Palace” wall sculpture at this year’s Southport Flower Show.

Maureen said: “Lisa Cheung travelled from London to invite us to create an arrangement to be included in her sculpture. We all have had great fun in making it and we decided to add little pictures of hands doing the Signing Alphabet to each pink petal. This represents the blossoming of skills as everyone grows in confidence.”

Some of our members met up with a group of children from Merseyside Deaf Society when they viewed the sculpture.

BDA Conference
bdaconf Mavis & Maureen met up with Helen, Peter, Christine and her husband at the BDA Conference on Wednesday, 8 August.

Unfortunately, not many people came for the social evening, and the hall was closed at 9.15pm.

Meols Cop Youth Centre charity event
meolscopOn Saturday 4 August, Maureen attended a Charity event organised by Shelley Tomkins from the Meols Cop Youth Centre to support local charities Scope and Vitalise.

The event was to highlight youth involvement with local charities, and was situated outside the Liberal Democrats’ offices on Shakespeare Street.

As Maureen chatted with the stall holders and young people, she was able to show them her workshop DVD on our new portable DVD player.

Portable DVD players
We thank the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board for funding three portable DVD players.

portabledvdWe can now show signing DVDs at our practice sessions, courses, talks and training days to support student learning.

It was in use at the Southport Arts Centre on Thursday, Ainsdale Library on Friday morning for the Childrens’ Learning to Sign session and on Saturday at the Meols Cop Youth Centre charity event.

Well done Mavis!
Congratulations to our Secretary, Mavis Husbands, on passing BSL Level 1.

Meet-up with Usher Group
ushergroupOn Saturday 23 June, Practice Makes Perfect committee members Maureen, Chantelle, Mavis and Jackie met up with Manchester’s Usher Group for their visit to Southport.

Our day was indeed a great success. Nine members arrived by train at 1.30pm to a beautiful Southport sunny day. Following a discussion with hands-on signing, Sign Language, lip patterns and voice, it was decided to go to Cafe Nero for refreshments. We discovered there was a birthday so we all signed and sang Happy Birthday to her!

Later it was decided a stroll to the Pier would get some fresh air into our lungs. Some members set off at a brisk pace having decided to walk the length of the pier while others having health conditions took a more leisurely stroll taking joy in just chatting and signing. The smell of chips stopped us in our tracks and we all had a few freshly made chips to satisfy our taste buds. Onwards to the Carousel area where we sat and watched the world go by, and a few photographs were taken.

We kept in touch with The pier walkers by text and when they returned we made our way to Leo’s Pub for a birthday drink in the sun then back to our cars/train for the journey home. A very satisfying day. Thank you everyone for making it so.

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.

June 2006 Newsletter

Healthier Ageing event
maureenmavisMaureen Doyle and volunteers from Practice Makes Perfect were at Martin Mere at the end of March for a “Healthier Ageing Event” organised by West Lancashire Age Concern. The event brought together many groups and charities.

Visitors had the opportunity to join in the taster sessions of Sign Language, Chair Exercising, Art and Gardening. The Line Dancing was a great success as was the scheduled walks as it was a lovely sunny day.

Members from Ormskirk’s Hard of Hearing group and the Royal National Institute for the Blind were also available to talk about their work.

BT launches broadband campaign in BSL
In March BT launched a new campaign to help promote the benefits of broadband services for deaf people in British Sign Language. BT’s BSL Broadband Guide was launched on 18 March, and should be viewable here.

Waitrose March bag-pack
waitroseSaturday morning came, and Southport was covered in snow. It was so thick that it took Maureen half an hour just to brush it off her car, and de-ice all the windows.

Our bag packing day had arrived, but would volunteers and customers stay at home because of the weather? Customers and volunteers did brave the elements, and as the day progressed, the sun appeared and the snow melted. The day went very quickly as we all packed bags, and chatted with 100s of customers about our Sign Language group.

On behalf of the Committee, Maureen thanks all the volunteers for their help: Maria, Tony, Sue, Chantelle and Mavis.

Many thanks to the Management, employees and customers at Waitrose for their interest, support and donations. The total collected was £180.50.

Millennium Volunteers
Maureen had a marvellous two days with a group of Millennium Volunteers in February. They were all eager to learn about Sign Language, and very soon they were singing and signing nursery rhymes as well as making new friends whilst signing about themselves to other members of the group.

Tuesday, 21 February was a memorable day because Mavis Husbands, an invaluable member of Practice Makes Perfect, came to meet the teenagers. Mavis is also a member of the Centre for the Deaf in Stanley Street, Southport.

The Millennium Volunteers appreciated the opportunity to use their newly acquired skills, that is, being deaf aware, using finger-spelling, signing and using clear lip patterns by chatting with Mavis. Their questions to her were about hobbies, holidays and family. Everyone agreed that they had gained confidence and experience.

Sefton Social Care Partnership
Maureen Doyle, Originator and Chairperson of Practice Makes Perfect, attended the Sefton Social Care Partnership at the Floral Hall, and she wants to congratulate Sefton Council, the organisers of the event. Maureen says, “It was obvious that “Disability access” and the Communication needs of the delegates were high on their agenda.”

The Communication options that were available were:

  • a microphone for the Speaker
  • interpreters for the hearing-impaired
  • a lipspeaker for the hard of hearing
  • a Palatine operator and laptop for those needing to read the speaker’s words
  • audio translation for the visually impaired

“The event was very interesting, and I will be getting involved with the sub group dealing with Sensory Impairment and Disability”, said Maureen.

Parenting 2000 at Sure Start
thankyouDuring January and February, Maureen facilitated a 5-week course entitled ‘An Introduction to the Basics of Sign Language’ for young mums at the ‘Parenting 2000’ group held at the Sure Start Centre in Bootle.

Those attending made amazing progress, and they all received 3 certificates: one for attendance, one for the Manual Alphabet and one for Sing a Rainbow (in Sign language).

They were a very enthusiastic group who have stated that they want to continue to practice, and learn more from our website and Internet links. Arrangements will be made a further course in the future.

On the last day Maureen was surprised to receive a lovely handmade ‘Thank you’ card with comments on their experience.

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RNLI Luncheon Club
Maureen attended a RNLI Luncheon Club in Ainsdale on Tuesday, 7 February. They have a list of speakers who talk to the group on all manner of subjects.

Maureen presented a talk entitled ‘A Sign of the Times’. The afternoon was a resounding success, and everyone participated. The meal was excellent too!


Christ the King School talk
Maureen was invited to Christ the King School on Friday, 13 January to give a short talk on the subject of “Communication Skills and Sign Language”. The group had some profound and interesting questions. Arrangements are being made for a return visit.

January 2006 Newsletter

Annual General Meeting
firetalkPMP members had an interesting talk on Fire Safety and prevention on Monday, 26 September.

The AGM also took place that evening. Maureen presented the 2005 Annual Report, which includes thanks to the many supporters of PMP and the accounts.

Christ the King School Careers Evening
The Careers’ Evening at Christ the King School on 10 November was very successful with many of the students and their parents showing interest in the work we are doing.

Thanks go to volunteer Maria Nolan who went along to support, especially as it was her birthday.

Diversity Open Day
PMP provided two Sign Language Workshops at a ‘Diversity Open Day’ organised by the National Probation Service on Wednesday, 5 October. The event took place at the Bridge Chapel Centre, Heath Road in Allerton, near Liverpool.

70s Disco in aid of NDCS
pmpndcsMaureen Doyle and Mavis Husbands attended a 70s Disco & Buffet at Shorrocks Hill Country Club on 22 July.

This event was organised by Pam Lazano in support of the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS). The evening was a great success.

Hands That Talk
Jean Shingler of the ‘Young at Heart’ Group at the Southport Salvation Army recently wrote a poem entitled Hands That Talk – please read it.

Kirklees Council Awards
Kirklees Council has won two awards for BSL videos on their website. See the story at eGov monitor.

Line dancing at the Leisure Lakes
donationOur day at the Leisure Lakes on 27 August proved to be very successful. We sold teddies, some word searches, and a few fridge magnets raising over £45. The volunteers during the afternoon were Maria & Natalie Nolan, Mavis Husbands and Maria Lavender.

Barbara Shields and Maureen Doyle stayed for the presentation of books and videos from the Phoenix Rebels in the evening. We sold even more teddies raising over £42. Maureen also gave away many word searches for free, and if people return them completed, they will receive a certificate.

We also met Greywolf, who does The Trilogy and poems in North American Indian Sign Language. He may come and give PMP members a demonstration in the future.

Communicating with patients
signhealthSignHealth has developed software to help health professionals in primary care (GP’s, nurses, receptionists, etc.) communicate with their patients when an interpreter is not available.

The Department of Health report Mental Health and Deafness …. Towards Equity and Access, published in March 2005, recommends SignHealth is made available in primary and secondary care as speedily as possible. The recently published A Practice Guide to Ethnic Monitoring in the NHS and Social Care also recommends that SignHealth is purchased by health trusts.

A demo of the software can be seen on the SignHealth website. To use this, you must enter the following password to get in: tghdse49

PMP members pass BSL Level 1 exam
PMP members Hilary and Ruth Smith have passed their BSL Level 1 exam. Congratulations to them both!

Hilary and Ruth have sent comments about their experiences with Maureen and the group, and these appear in the 2005 Annual Report.

Millennium Volunteers learn basic BSL
millvol2005Millennium Volunteers were introduced to the basics of Sign Language at the C.V.S. on Yellow House Lane in Southport on 25 & 26 July.

The volunteers were awarded four certificates for Attendance, Manual Alphabet, Numbers and Sing A Rainbow. They were given the opportunity to earn a further certificate by completing a Manual Alphabet wordsearch.

Here are some comments from the Millennium Volunteers:

The classes were highly enjoyable … Maureen made me realise how important sign language is and how enjoyable it can be.

Maureen’s clear enthusiasm and passion for the lessons shone through … made the course thoroughly enjoyable.

This was great fun! Loved the songs.

The speaker showed great enthusiasm in sign language and really made me want to study more into sign language.

Southport Deaf Club AGM
The Southport Centre for the Deaf held its 107th AGM on 20 July. It was mentioned that the Tuesday Morning Club has had a great year, and they still have a busy calendar ahead with some interesting trips planned.

Environmental aids
Environmental aids are now available from the W.R.V.S. at the Community Voluntary Service (C.V.S.) on Yellow House Lane, Southport. It is open Tuesdays 10am-12pm and Thursdays 12-2.30pm.

Please note there is an appointment system as they are very busy with this new service.

June 2005 Newsletter

Sefton Carer’s Day at Dunes Leisure Complex
The Sefton Carers’ event at Dunes on June 16 was well attended. Phil Rodwell from chatted to all the exhibitors and took photographs. Many people stopped to chat to Maureen about her work in the community.

A video was made for Sefton Council of the exhibitors, and Maureen was able to introduce herself and PMP as well as demonstrate the Manual Alphabet and sign a bit of Old MacDonald Had A Farm.

Fire Safety Team reaches ASDA
homesafetyMembers of Services for Deaf/Hard-of-hearing from the Fire & Rescue Service came to ASDA in May to support PMP during Deaf Awareness Week.

We gave out their leaflets informing people of their service to provide every home in Merseyside with a ‘Home Safety Check’ and smoke alarms.

Members of the Fire & Rescue Service will be giving a Fire Safety talk at the Marion Centre on Monday, 26 September. The Fire Safety team has two Deaf Advocates so this talk will be especially useful for deaf people using sign language.

This talk is open to PMP members, members of local Deaf Clubs, and anyone learning sign language.

Labour candidate chats to Maureen
pbrant0505Local Labour candidate Paul Brant made time during his busy schedule to visit the ASDA store on Derby Road during the Election campaign to chat to Maureen Doyle about PMP and their voluntary work in the community.

This was the third year that ASDA and Southport’s local Sign Language group, Practice Makes Perfect, have worked together to support Deaf Awareness Week.

Maureen and 10 volunteers from ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ had an interesting time giving out information, talking about Deaf Awareness and Sign Language. Customers were helped with their bag packing, and a total of £202.50 was raised for the group.

PMP sends a big THANK YOU to ASDA and everyone who supported us.

Sign language training for Millennium Volunteers
Maureen Doyle will be presenting two days of training in Sign Language for the Millennium Volunteers at Southport’s Community Volunteer’s Service (CVS) on 25 & 26 July.

PMP video library
videotapePMP is to start a video library for its members. The following videos will be available:

  • Glass Blowing Demonstration (with signing) – March 2005
  • TV programmes with BSL – various
  • The Miracle – black & white film about Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, her teacher
  • The Miracle – a more recent colour film
  • The Miracle Continues – film about Helen’s later life at Ratcliffe College and beyond
  • Documentary about Helen Keller’s life
  • Maureen’s Sign Language Workshops at King V College

Trip to Pilkington’s Glass Factory
sthelensglassMembers of PMP went on a trip to Pilkington’s Glass Factory with Southport’s HoH/Deaf Club in March. Maureen acted as Communicator for the day.

The glass blowing demonstration was very interesting, and as Maureen translated and signed Jackie Aughton videoed her as well as some of the demonstration. A short video will be available soon.

Accreditation certificate for Maureen
Maureen Doyle has received her Accreditation Certificate for the work she did in 2002 on The Citizens’ Action Millennium Award Programme in conjunction with her sign language project ‘Practice Makes Perfect’. You can see a copy of the certificate here.

The certificate was confirmed by the Quality Committee of the South of England Open College Network. The results were:

  • 1 Credit at Level 2 – comparable to NVQ2, Intermediate GNVQ and GCSE grades A*-C
  • 1 Credit at Level 3 – comparable to NVQ3, A Level and AS Level

Maureen’s University Tutor, Peter Unwin, said of the results:

I am delighted.

Shelbourne PROBUS talk
Maureen Doyle gave a talk to the Shelbourne PROBUS group on 24 February. After a short introduction on how, when, where and why she started PMP, Maureen got those present doing a brief practice of the Manual Alphabet.

The person leading the PROBUS group said to Maureen when he thanked her at the end she had them “eating out of her hand!” She actually had them signing and singing Sing A Rainbow, Fish Alive, Old McDonald and Farmers In His Den. Maureen says it was good fun, and a donation of £25 was made towards PMP funds.

Following this talk, Maureen received a letter of thanks with a donation of £10 from the Shelbourne PROBUS Club. You can read the letter here.

Monday classes move venue
On 14 February, the Monday sign language class moved venue to the Marian Centre on Bath Street North from Elim Church on Manchester Road. The Marian Centre has been refurbished and has disabled access, disabled toilets and kitchen facilities for refreshments. Please note it is a ‘No Smoking’ centre.

There will be a weekly raffle and a monthly bingo session to raise funds.

New members are welcome, but please e-mail Maureen to register your name and details.

January 2005 Newsletter

Girls Brigade pick up signing certificates
gbsister50 girls from St. Simons & St. Judes’ Girls’ Brigade have gained “Dactylology” certificates. Dactylology is the art of talking with your hands, and in November Maureen Doyle presented the certificates to girls aged 6 to 13 years.

The photo shows some of the girls practising the sign for “sister”.

Over a four week period, the girls learnt to fingerspell the Manual Alphabet and practised some basics in Sign Language, singing and signing nursery rhymes and Christmas carols.

The evening of Achievement ended with a beautiful rendition of Silent Night, signed of course!

Raising money for the NDCS
Lynn Siddle and her mum, from Craig & Taylor’s clothes shop on Lord Street, held a Fashion Show at the Prince of Wales Hotel to raise money for the National Deaf Children’s Society [NDCS]. The event raised around £800 for the NDCS, and Lynn is also planning to do a bike ride in South Africa next March, also for the NDCS.
Source: Midweek Visiter – 3 Nov.

Sign Language Awareness Week 2004
asdabagpack042The ‘Sign Language Awareness Week’ at Southport’s ASDA store was a great success, thanks to the volunteers and those who popped in to see us during the three days we spent raising awareness to sign language.

Maureen and her band of volunteers were in the store on October 20th, 21st and 23rd from 10am till 5pm.

Well done to the girls and the Girls’ Brigade Leaders for their efforts with the Bag Pack on the Saturday! The Bag Pack raised £222.46, and this was shared with the Girls’ Brigade.

Money raised from our raffles came to £148, and the draw took place at 5pm on the final day. Prizes were collected from Barbara Shields at ASDA. The Barbie car was won by one of our own Monday evening class members.

Subtitled cinema
There are subtitled films shown at the Vue Cinema, Costal Road Complex, on Sundays 3.25pm and Tuesdays 6.10pm.

Helen Zueger
helenpantoOne of our members, Helen Zueger, passed an interview for Work Experience in Woolworths. She has a Certificate in British Sign Language Level 1 [Communication Section]. The Southport Visiter called Helen an “inspirational woman”. Congratulations to Helen!

Helen took part in the pantomime Katy Crackernuts at the Citadel in St. Helens in December. Helen is in middle, bottom row of photo.

Hearing gene discovery
According to Nature magazine, scientists think they may be able to develop treatments for deafness due to the discovery of the gene that controls the process of hearing. See Health Talk for more information.

June 2004 Newsletter

We welcome all our new members, including Maryam Kamel and Ellie White, who were pupils at Birkdale School for Hearing Impaired Children. Unfortunately, the school closed last year.

We encourage all hearing and deaf students to come along to learn sign language, and to come and practice sign language with us.

Millennium Commission
millenniumlogoThe Millennium Commission have presented Maureen with a Special Certificate making her a “Millennium Awards Fellow”. It is a lifetime membership, which recognises her voluntary work as well as her commitment and dedication to making a difference in her community. She has also received a special letter, and a Unique Millennium PIN. Maureen can be found on the Starpeople site.

Fund-raising matters
asdalogoA “Bag Pack Day” took place at Asda in May with help from PMP members. Bags were packed at the tills as members told customers about PMP and signing. Maureen provided more information near the entrance to the store. It was a successful event, and another one is planned for October with help from local Girls’ Brigade groups.

A fund-raising event at Holy Trinity Church Hall on 11th June was a fun and lively occasion where members took part in a number of bingo games.

sponsoredwalkSome members gathered together on Independence Day, 4th July, for a fun walk around the Marine Lake. This was arranged as a sponsored walk, and although we didn’t have many sponsors, the event was enjoyed by all those who attended.

Hearing Dogs for the Deaf
alisonAlison Chester gave us a talk and demonstration on 17th May. She brought Dodger along with her. Alison gave a very interesting talk about hearing dogs and how they started, and how Dodger helps her on a daily basis.

Alison and Dodger are available to visit schools and clubs to talk about the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. Please contact Alison for more details on 01704-228571.


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Surprise for Maureen
Maureen Doyle, originator of Practice Makes Perfect, had a surprise recently in the post.

She received a letter in the post saying she had been nominated for the ‘Local Hero Award’ as part of the Help the Aged Living Legends 2004. They sent Maureen a lovely certificate to acknowledge this accolade.

Learning sign language
Maureen recently entertained 180 children with Signed Nursery Rhymes at a school in West Derby, Liverpool. The children were aged between 5 and 7 years. Alison Chester talked to the children about her hearing dog, Dodger, and explained to them how important Dodger is in her life.

Chantelle Rea-Bradley
Committee member Chantelle Rea-Bradley attended a course for Church Signing this month in Chester.

Southport Centre for the Deaf
Southport Centre for the Deaf, 19a Stanley Street, is open every Tuesday, 10pm to 12pm. Various events take place each Tuesday, and everyone is welcome to come along.

There is a Signed Church Service on the first Tuesday of every month.

The club is also open fortnightly on Saturdays, 11pm to 2pm.

King George V College BSL courses
King George V have been running CACDP BSL courses.

KGV have introduced CACDP BSL Level 1 to the curriculum for their full-time 16/19 year old students. Some 40 students started on the course in September 2003, of whom approximately 20 completed the course and sat the exam.

ajhzOn 1st April the Minister of State for Further and Higher Education, Alan Johnson, visited KGV College Southport in recognition of the College’s outstanding Inspection Report in 2003, and its mentions in the annual reports of both OFSTED and ALI (Adult Learning Inspectorate) as being among the country’s most outstanding providers of 16/19 full-time and part-time adult education. As part of his visit he was introduced to Helen Zueger (BSL Level 1 student), and Louise Pitchers (profoundly deaf Web Design student who completed her course with the aid of BSL interpretation by Lynn Culshaw).

January 2004 newsletter

asda Welcome to the first edition of our newsletter!

Practice Makes Perfect was formed to provide people with the opportunity to develop communication skills in a friendly informal atmosphere.

Maureen Doyle set up ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ to raise deaf awareness, introduce the Manual Alphabet, and provide easy sign language lessons to help local people and organizations, giving them the chance to learn and practice these basic communication skills.

Christmas with PMP
chantellehelenWe had a good attendance of about 30 people at our Christmas Social when we all did “signed singing” of nursery rhymes and Christmas carols. It was good fun, and enjoyed by all.

Certificates for the “manual alphabet” and “I Can Sing A Rainbow” were given to 24 attendees, which included a few children as young as 7.

Helen Zeuger recited her own poetry, and Chantelle signed Helen’s poem. Helen’s poems were very well received by the group.

Deaf Club Carol Service
St Helen’s signing choir made a big impression at Southport Deaf Club’s Carol Service. There were two children in the choir, Matthew, 10, and Keziah, 8 [Maureen’s grand-daughter]. It was wonderful to see such young children being committed to the learning of sign language and being in a choir.

Elim Church Carols by Candlelight
Maureen led the congregation with the signing of “Silent Night”, which has raised awareness to sign language in the Church. Members of ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ and Southport Deaf Club attended the evening. Maureen got a lot of sign language practice as she acted as Communicator for one of the members of the Deaf Club.

Fund-raising matters
cashOur application to Community Chest was successful, and we received the sum of £500.

A fund-raising event will be held at St Marie’s Church Hall on Tuesday, 24th February, starting at 7pm. This is a social evening with bingo, raffle and a tombola.

A “Bag Pack Day” is being planned at Asda with help from local Girls’ Brigade groups. PMP volunteers needed too for a few hours on a Saturday.

Details of when this will take place will be announced at the weekly classes, and on the website.

Hearing Dogs for the Deaf
alisonAlison Chester is to be congratulated for all her hard work in raising awareness to the need for hearing dogs for deaf people.

Alison is now an after-dinner speaker and is also invited into schools with Dodger, her black poodle, to do demonstrations.

Alison and Dodger are available to visit schools and clubs to talk about the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. Please contact Alison for more details on 01704-228571.

Alison’s latest fund-raising event, a hot pot supper and rock ‘n’ roll evening, was a great success.

Alison has agreed to come and give us a talk and demonstration on 17th May at 6.30pm. She will bring Dodger with her. A collection towards the training of a hearing dog will be made to Alison’s charity on the night. Please do come and join us!

Maureen on Help the Aged Millennium Award
It has made a real difference to me. My dreams have become a reality, and I am so happy to be able to help local people.

Learning Sign Language
The Training Days to introduce sign language into the community have been a great success.

Two Training Days were organised for the Community Voluntary Sector in Netherton. Some of the attendees were from Glaxo, Health Service Providers, and volunteers from friends of the Fire Service. All were successful in achieving a certificate of attendantance, and one for the “Manual Alphabet”.

These Training Days add much-needed funds to our bank account and we have been re-booked for further Training Days at the CVS in Yellowhouse Lane, Southport.

At half-term children from the Formby area will be learning the basics of sign language in a fun way with nursery rhymes and signed singing.

Local college offers BSL courses
King George V College on Scarisbrick New Road, Southport, offers BSL Courses at Levels I & II. Please contact Peter Walker on 01704-530603 for more details.

Maureen wishes to thank all our volunteers over the last year. We could not have managed without you.

Volunteers are needed to support the group in many ways. However little time you have to offer, your help would be appreciated.

It can be taking the register for the classes, photocopying, giving out information, helping newcomers, attending and helping with Training Days. Contact Maureen if you feel you can help in any way at all.