In 2020, we funded a pilot project at Heathlands School in St Albans, funding an accredited Deaf counsellor who has been supporting children identified by the school.
Data collected from this project has demonstrated not only the great demand for the service, but also presented evidence of the positive impact psychological support can have on children’s mental health and wellbeing. We have renewed our funding for this important project in 2022.
We have also supported SignHealth’s plans for a Provider Collaborative, a consortium of NHS children’s mental health services and D/deaf children’s charities working together to create a ‘one stop shop’ for mental health support.
In recent years, we have contributed toward SignHealth‘s YoungDeafHope project by funding the salary of an education worker for three years. The Deaf education worker delivered workshops and 1:1 sessions to D/deaf young people, helping them to stay safe online and in relationships.
‘The OHF grant has been instrumental in helping SignHealth to address the problem of domestic abuse and victimization of deaf children and young people,’ said Steve Powell, CEO of the mental health and Deaf/deafness charity.
We also helped to fund an IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Advisor) who worked with Deaf women and girls in Sussex who have experienced or witnessed abuse. SignHealth’s Domestic Abuse service delivered individual support to seven women or girls, and reached a further 80 Deaf people through workshops in Eastbourne and Brighton.
‘We have worked with Deaf victims of abuse in crisis and through outreach work, helping them to cope in difficult and often life-threatening circumstances,’ said Rebecca from SignHealth.
Since 2018, we have contributed toward The Elizabeth Foundation’s Let’s Listen and Talk outreach programme by funding the salary of a qualified Teacher of the Deaf for one and a half days per week. Let’s Listen and Talk is an online programme for the parents of deaf babies and toddlers. The Teacher of the Deaf supports parents enrolled on the programme by providing advice on all aspects of hearing loss and early education.
The service has been incredibly important during the pandemic because it has reached families in the home. In order to help as many families as possible at the start of the pandemic, The Elizabeth Foundation waived all fees, providing free access to their home learning and support programme. The service remains free in 2023, with over 1,000 individuals and families from across the UK having benefited from the service. ‘With your help we have been able to keep our Let’s Listen and Talk free of charge and with positive outcomes for all,’ said Karen, their Deputy Chief Executive.