Monthly Archives: September 2013

Launch of Signal: Empowering Deaf People in the UK and Africa

A new Charity called “Signal” is the result of the union two Shropshire based charities- The Woodford Foundation and Shropshire Deafness Association (SDA) 

This Wednesday the official launch will take place at the Sovereign Suite at Shrewsbury Town Football Club. SDN are really please to have been invited to it and two representatives are looking forward to attending.

 Many members will remember the Woodford Foundation talking to our members at one of our quarterly meetings. Woodford are based in Shrewsbury and work with people with hearing loss mainly in sub-Sahara Africa. 

The Shropshire Deafness Association which dates back to 1856 years works does work more locally. The Woodford Foundation is named in honour of Doreen Woodford, who had a lifelong commitment to the interests of deaf and deaf-blind children and has been in operation almost a decade. Both organisations work with sensory impairment, predominantly helping those who have different forms of hearing loss. 

Both organisations have been working together for a while and now as one they will continue to focus on supporting individuals, families and communities both in the UK and overseas. 

Mathew Gilbert Chief Executive for Signal said “Hearing loss is a major issue both in the UK and overseas, yet because it is invisible many people do not realise what a serious impact it has on people’s lives” he continued “It is great news that Woodford and SDA are now coming together to share their expertise. Signal will continue to make a difference to people lives here and abroad” 

Woodford have carried out many life-changing projects in Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. SDA carries out much outreach work in Shropshire. It is materially supported by Shrewsbury Hard of Hearing Group and the Telford Deaf Club. 

At the launch guests will learn about Signal’s plans to take forward deaf advocacy in Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin. We at SDN hope to share with you again after Wednesday evenings launch.

Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing join forces to help tenants with fuel costs.

Don’t miss out on joining together by making purchase of heating oil cheaper for you readiness for winter!

Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing have teamed up with Shropshire’s Rural Community Council (RCC) and local credit unions to offer access to cheaper oil to their tenants.

The oil-buying scheme is aimed at bringing communities together to make the most of joint buying power, so that greater savings can be made and passed on to customers.  Typically a person ordering the minimum of 500 litres can save up to £25 on their order.

The scheme, set up by Shropshire RCC, can reduce the cost of domestic heating oil each time an order is placed.  All tenants need to do to take advantage of the scheme is simply complete a membership form and pay an annual membership fee of £24, which will cover as many oil orders as they need during the course of the year.  For those in financial hardship, the membership fee could be waived.

With the colder months just around the corner, now is a good time to start thinking about filling up the oil tank.  The order deadlines are:

  • Tuesday 22 October
  • Tuesday 19 November  – last order date before Christmas

Tenants who may not be able to afford the upfront cost for their oil can apply for a short- term loan from their local credit union.

Sue Adams, Managing Director for ShropshireTowns and Rural Housing, recently said:

“This is a great opportunity for tenants who rely on oil to heat their homes and who may struggle to afford large payments, to take advantage of the oil buying scheme.  Too many people live in fuel poverty and cannot afford to put oil in their tank, so any saving on price is a bonus plus.   This is a great offer and one well worth considering; I would encourage any tenant who has oil heating to sign up to their local scheme.”

There are also environmental benefits to the scheme, as bulk buying helps to reduce the number of oil tankers on Shropshire’s roads, thereby reducing Shropshire’s carbon footprint.

Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing tenants can sign up to the scheme by contacting Caroline Morris at Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing  on 07852 005479.

To find out more about the oil bulk-buying scheme in Shropshire, contact the Shropshire RCC on 01743 342167.

SDN’s Justgiving Site Is Off The Ground!

With our 2014 Disability Challenge in mind Ruby Hartshorn has been busy organising a Justgiving page for SDN! Pleased to report we have just had our first £10 donation – way to go Ruby!.

Ruby Hartshorn receives a cheque for SDN from the Rotary Club

Ruby Hartshorn receives a cheque for SDN from the Rotary Club last year

If you’re interested in the work of SDN and want to support us why not go to: 

and make a small donation. You can read about our fund raising efforts here: we make sure that we make every penny count. 

Shropshire Deaf and Hard of Hearing Forum

Start Date:
9th October 2013

End Date:
9th October 2013

Start Time:

End Time:

Shropshire Deaf and Hard of Hearing Forum

Agenda for meeting to be held on Wednesday

9 OCTOBER, 2013 AT 2.00 PM



1 Chairman’s Opening Remarks

2 Talk on Ear Camps in Developing Countries – Experiences in Thailand and

Nepal by Andrew Scott, F.R.C.S., M.Phil.,B.M.,B.S, Consultant Ear, Nose

and Throat Surgeon to the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust,

3 Refreshment Break

4 Talk on Hearing Dogs for the Deaf and the services which that organisation

provides by Vicky Ryan

5 Any Other Business



 Date of Next Meeting

Wednesday, 19 February, 2014 at 2.00 pm at the White House Hotel,

Telford, when our speakers will be David Stockdale, Chief Executive of The

Tinnitus Society and James Cousins on the work of the Shropshire Deaf

Association (formerly Shropshire Christian Association Among Deaf People).


Sign Language Interpretation by courtesy of VISS and Shropshire Council

Hearing Dogs May Be Present

Instructions on how to get to the Hall are attached

Trinity Centre Map


Estella Morris






There will be a signed performance on Wednesday, 8 January at 5.30 pm and a Stagetext captioned performance on Thursday, 9 January.

Healthwatch Telford and Wrekin Launch

Start Date:
24th October 2013

End Date:
24th October 2013

Start Time:

End Time:
1:00 pm

Healthwatch Telford and Wrekin is the independent consumer voice in health and social care.  Our job is to listen to the residents of Telford and Wrekin and make sure that their voice is at the forefront of decision making locally.

On Thursday 24th October we will be going live and we want you to join us. During the launch you will:

  • Find out what we have been doing since April 2013
  • Learn more about our values, aims and objectives
  • Find out how we will ensure that patients are at the centre of every decision
  • Meet the staff team, the Board of Directors and our volunteers
  • Listen to challenging debates including a question and answer session between the Health and Wellbeing Board, Clinical Commissioning Group, an Adult Social Care representative and a representative from the Voluntary Sector
  • Watch a performance from internationally acclaimed theatre group, Kaleidoscope, as they perform “The Stolen Heart”
  • Learn more about some of the organisations that we will be working with at their stall

To bookyour place please visit our website by clicking here where you will find our registration form.

Booking is essential as places are limited.
Light refreshments will be provided.
There is free parking at The Place, Oakengates with good disabled access.

Please do circulate this email to any colleagues or individuals who you think may wish to come along either from organisations or members of the public. 

Cat Pert

Community Engagement Officer


Mobile: 07803744247


Healthwatch Telford and Wrekin

Meeting Point House

Southwater Square

Town Centre



Tel 01952 739540

Deafblind Specialist Courses

Start Date:
24th September 2013

End Date:
21st October 2013

Do you work with people who cannot hear and/or see very well? Have you been in a situation when a person says to you or your colleagues “I cannot hear you” or “I cannot see”.

Did you know that there are an estimated 356,000 deafblind people nationally? Sense, 2010, report a rapidly growing population of older people, as the majority of deafblind people are acquiring this disability from ageing.

Do you understand the various eye conditions – see DBE’s link here:  Would you like to understand how this impacts on an individual’s life and how you can assist people with a visual impairment / dual sensory loss – this is the specialist training course for you.

Would you like to be qualified and recognised as a good communicator? Join us on the course below as it will enable you to effectively communicate, guide safely, enable and not disable people and ensure you feel confident in working with anyone with a sensory loss. You will also gain a nationally recognised qualification. 

Deafblind Communicator-Guide Support Worker Course (QCF DBG2)

This 5-day course is a specifically designed certificated course tailored to meet the needs of support workers and professionals working with deafblind people. It consists of the following learning outcomes:

  • Definition and groups of deafblind people
  • Visual and Hearing loss
  • Effects including emotional, physical and mental well-being
  • Communication methods: including Deafblind manual, ‘Block’ alphabet, lip-reading, clear speech, facial expressions, gestures, BSL finger-spelling and good practice techniques
  • Access to information
  • Safe guiding (internal and external activities), environmental information and impact on movement, orientation and mobility
  • Simulation exercises
  • Specific equipment available
  • Legislation and Services 

Book a place on this specialist training course for £615 including exam fees + VAT – booking discounts and payment terms available please apply…

9, 10, 29, 30, 31 October 2013 – Durham

16, 17, 23, 24, 25 October 2013 – Fetcham/Leatherhead, Surrey

5, 6, 15, 18, 19 November 2013 – Sandwell, Birmingham 

DBE also facilitates this course in-house for up to 14 staff members to

ensure all staff empower people with a sensory loss

and meet the Equalities Act, 2010; please see attached DBE’s 2013 Specialist Training Brochure

for further information or a quote please contact us.

Help us to make a difference

Other courses include: 

Deafblind Awareness Course:  

12 November 2013 – Euston, London 

Specialist Assessment Course: 

12& 13 November – Euston, London

Please have a look at our website  for training information or feedback from students

Contact Debbie or Lynn either by email at: or phone 01733 746538 / 0755 709 2282 for more information, discussion or to book a place now.

Click the links below for more information

CGSWC Durham October 13

Training Brochure October 2013

Training Booking Form Individual

DBG2 flyer Oct 2013

Disabled people face ‘digital divide’

Start Date:
23rd September 2013

End Date:
21st October 2013

Following on from the recent blog post by Penval on the need for Superfast Broadband access for Shropshire’s disable population and their carers Age UK have issued a stern warning about the digital divide faced by disabled people. You can read more about it here on the Age UK website . Why not have your say via the new SDN Forum pages where we have set up a topic on the digital divide.

Hearing Loops for All

Hearing Loops for All: the 3rd International Hearing Loop Conference

•    A one-off opportunity
It is highly unlikely that the 3rd International Hearing Loop Conference will be held in the UK again for many years to come – don’t miss out. The event takes place in the beautiful coastal town of Eastbourne, East Sussex, a fabulous destination for a conference (and a holiday!). 

•    A packed programme
The programme will focus on three themes:
­   – experiences, needs and views of hearing loop users
­   – practical issues of ensuring more and better hearing loops are made available
­   – technical aspects of hearing loops

There will be highly engaging presentations and workshops and there will be speakers from across the world.  Communication support will be provided to ensure everyone can participate. This includes a hearing loop and speech to text reporting (i.e. a large screen that displays a text transcript of what is being said as it is being said). BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW.

•    Help spread the word
Many people and organsiations have a role to play in helping the UK to really move forward in ensuring more and better hearing loops are made available to people who use hearing aids and cochlear implants. We’d be delighted for you to pass this information on to relevant people and organisations that you’re in contact with.

An evening with Richard Einhorn

For one night only, the renowned classical composer Richard Einhorn will share his amazing personal journey – don’t miss this rare opportunity. It will be held at The Birley Centre, Eastbourne, on Sunday 6th October.

Our UK Conference: Travel, Leisure & Accessible Tourism

If you’ve never been to one of our friendly UK Conferences, do come along and join us this year. If you’ve been before, we very much hope you’ll join us once again.

•    A helpful & inspiring event
Our UK Conference promises to be a lively and engaging one-day event offering information on accessible tourism services in the UK and overseas. It will inspire your ideas and perhaps encourage you to explore new things and visit places you may not have previously believed possible.

All are welcome at this event – members, non-members, professionals and providers of travel, leisure and tourism services. The event will be held on 5th October in the coastal town of Eastbourne, East Sussex. If you’ve never been to this part of the country, do take the opportunity. You’re sure to enjoy it.

•    Lots to discover
The programme will include presentations from a range of knowledgeable and experienced people. As usual, we will also hold our popular Soapbox Sessions, when volunteers have their say on issues that matter to them. In addition, there will be an panel of tourism experts ready to take questions.