The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded the Deafness Resource Centre a five-year grant to expand support services for families and children across the Merseyside region. Existing services covering St Helens and Halton are funded through BBC Children in Need.
This service is accessible and open to all Children, Young People and Families who experience deafness living in St Helens, Halton, Knowsley, and wider Merseyside region.
Referrals can be made directly to us by yourself or by an organisation such as school, college, or audiology. If you would like more information about the I CAN project, please email ICAN@deafnessresourcecentre.org or phone 01744 23887.
The Children, Young People and Families service aims to:
1: Support and Information
We can support you with the following:
- Your child’s rights
- Disability Living Allowance Applications
- Personal Independence Payment Applications
- Applying for an Education Health Care Plan – each local authority will have more information on EHCPs under the Local Offer section of their website.
- Tribunal Support
- School / Nursery Visits
- Family Referral – we can introduce you to other families who are in a similar circumstance to yours, if required.
- We are a Direct Payment Provider and as such can provide your child with development and care opportunities from 1 hour or more a week funded via their EHCP or social care budget.
2: Family Sign Language
Family Sign is a first step for families to aid communication with their children who may be deaf or hard of hearing. It is a short 6-week course with instruction from a tutor trained by the National Deaf Children’s Society. Courses are available to both families and professionals working with a deaf child.
The Family Sign Language Curriculum (FSLC) is designed to promote positive family communication and to help families of deaf children communicate effectively using sign language. The FSLC also aims to give families the support and advice they need to make confident choices about the communication methods that are the most suitable for them.
Topics covered in the FSLC:
- Things we do everyday
- Communicating with People
- Toys and Games
Virtual Family Sign sessions
Family Sign Language sessions are now available to watch pre-recorded via YouTube. A link to access the sessions will be sent to enable families to access them at time convenient to the family. Our family support workers also provide weekly support remotely where the sessions can be discussed, practiced and address any questions.
If you would like more information, contact ICAN@deafnessresourcecentre.org
- Happy Hands – is a non-profit parent led organisation affiliated to DRC and NDCS. It is a group that supports families that experience Deafness and/or other communication difficulties through disability or special educational needs. They provide services by way of a family group for children from birth up to 11 years, that consists of activities, games, breakfast, or lunch and somewhere for parents and carers to grab a cuppa and a chat. The group meets every Saturday at the Deafness Resource Centre from 11am – 1pm – siblings welcome. A small fee is charged to cover refreshments. Staff use BSL to ensure full communication and promote social skills and life skills to build up confidence which helps to eliminate feelings of isolation and frustration that is all to commonly found in Deaf children.
- Weekly Youth Group – open to any young person aged 11-18 that experiences deafness. This provides an inclusive environment for deaf or hard of hearing young people to meet, but also encourage hearing young people to attend, therefore promoting social inclusion. All activities are run by a qualified youth worker who can sign. Activities include indoor sports, arts, healthy eating sessions and film nights. We also arrange trips to local cinema, bowling and other activities.
Due to COVID restrictions, they currently meet remotely via Zoom every Wednesday between 5:30pm-6:30pm. To find out how to get involved, contact the team at ICAN@deafnessresourcecentre.org
4: Partnership working
Our dedicated team are happy to speak to your organisation about how we can support you in your setting.
We have experience of working in schools, large corporate organisations, charities, and local authorities, providing support for individuals, groups and staff.
Support services include:
- Deaf awareness assemblies or classroom sessions
- Enrichment sessions with groups of young people
- After school clubs
- Healthy minds sessions
- Deaf Awareness and basic BSL sessions for staff
- Fun and interactive BSL signing sessions.
If you think your organisation would benefit from working with us, please get in touch for a chat about our services at ICAN@deafnessresourcecentre.org
Children Hearing Services Working Group (CHSWG)
This group brings together service providers working with D/deaf children and their families. The aim of the group is to work collaboratively to ensure services are meeting the needs of children and families. The group welcomes parents and carers and this would be a great opportunity for you to discuss any issues you may have directly with key people and gather lots of useful information.
We want to encourage and invite parents and carers to come along and have YOUR say. This could be done virtually via an online platform like ZOOM. If you would like to get involved, please contact ICAN@deafnessresourcecentre.org