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Deaf community starts work on new history project

Latest news

Wednesday, 08 May 2024
Members of Middlesbrough's Deaf community with staff and volunteers from the Council's Sensory Support and Rekindle teams

Members of Middlesbrough’s Deaf community came together to start work on a new history project.

Tuesday’s session during Deaf Awareness Week was the first conversation which will form part of a celebration of the contribution Deaf people have made to the town.

The project is being supported by Middlesbrough Council’s Rekindle digital inclusion service, which supports residents to support their health and happiness.

One of the topics discussed at the event at North Ormesby Hub were the former schools attended by Deaf children in the town.

The group shared memories of Holmwood School on Orchard Road and looked at photographs found online by Council’s Digital Inclusion Adviser, Steve Thompson.

They also reflected on the strength of the community spirit among Deaf people, with participants Sandra and Val reminiscing about previous trips to Scarborough and York and weekly get-togethers to enjoy bingo and “a good chat”.

Challenges faced by Deaf people were also discussed, including difficulties while shopping and the need for British Sign Language interpreters at medical appointments.

Kate Metcalfe, sensory support officer at Middlesbrough Council, said: “Our session during Deaf Awareness Week went really well and provoked lots of memories and discussion.

“We hope that this is just the start and that other members of our Deaf community can join Sandra and Val in contributing to a project that can recognise the contribution Deaf people have made to our town’s history.”

The project will run over a number of months and further sessions will be arranged for the North Ormesby Hub and at the Sensory ‘Drop In’ at the Live Well Centre in Middlesbrough town centre. Anyone wishing to find out more can email Steve Thompson on steve_thompson@middlesbrough.gov.uk.