A new Deaf hub providing bespoke social opportunities for adults will shortly launch in Exeter by Living Options Devon, helped by funding from the South West Water Neighbourhood Fund.
The lasting effects of the Covid pandemic are still being felt by many, including those who are most vulnerable. It has left many Deaf people with a lack of confidence and motivation to go out and socialise. The new hub and monthly sessions will provide a chance for Deaf people to reconnect, and will support individuals in a practical way to get out and about once again.
Living Options CEO Diana Crump explains: “Our Deaf services are planned and run by Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users that understand Deaf culture. We are excited to be planning a series of face to face, interactive social sessions for Deaf people this Spring. I would like to extend thanks to funding from the South West Water Neighbourhood Fund.”
Justine Smyth, a member of the Deaf community, and Living Options Devon Project Lead added: “It is support such as this which allows us to deliver these very types of user-led services, services which are proven to make a real difference to the lives of the disabled and Deaf community within Devon. We are delighted to have been selected for funding by South West Water on this occasion.”
The South West Water Neighbourhood fund is available for neighbourhood community groups which inspire physical activities, education, health and wellbeing and deliver positive environmental outcomes.
Commenting on the funding and project Olivia Crisp, South West Water Community Outreach Officer said: “Living Options Devon application to our community fund instantly stood out in our sea of applications. We receive thousands of applications a year, and not once have we received an application which addresses the issues of isolation faced by the Deaf community. We also really appreciated the pro-active community lead approach they took to combatting loneliness; giving people within the community the ability to decide which activities they want to take part in.”
Keep an eye on our website for this and all our other exciting Deaf work. If you are Deaf, live in Devon and would like to join, or be involved in the monthly Deaf club we encourage you to get in touch. We are also on the lookout for Deaf professionals who would like to deliver sessions. If you think that this is something you could provide please let us know. Contact Justine.Smyth@livingoptions.org, BSL Facetime: email@example.com, signvideo 01392 547459.