A customer in one of our retirement living communities has been making a positive difference, with a little help from the Homes Plus My Community Fund.
Linda and her partner are both deaf. When they moved into their new home, other residents were keen to learn how to communicate with them and so Linda began teaching sign language classes. Now, members of another retirement living community have invited her to help them get to know their hearing-impaired neighbours, too.
My Community Fund sponsors grass roots initiatives in partnership with Jewson. The fund has provided the flip charts, paper and pens that Linda needs to bring her lessons to life.
Linda retired after teaching sign language at a college for 17 years: “When we moved here, it was hard to communicate at first,” she remembers. “We would write things down on pieces of paper, or make notes on our phones. I thought it might be good to do some teaching again, to help my neighbours and the people who work here.
“Communication between deaf and hearing people is so important. When we can talk to each other, we can become friends.”
Lawrence has been attending Linda’s classes. “It seemed a good time to try another language and to understand Linda’s world a little bit,” he explains. “I wanted to be able to say ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’ and ‘how are you?’; the kind of things you would say to anyone else. I’ve learned the sign language alphabet now, which helps. When I get stuck on a word or a phrase, I can use the alphabet.”
When Homes Plus heard about Linda’s great classes, we wanted to lend a hand. A grant from our fund provided useful materials for her teaching.
“My Community Fund backs local charities, groups and people like Linda, who are making a positive difference in our communities. I am delighted that we could help,” said Les Clarke, executive director of housing and care.
Linda is now busy using the new flip charts in her sign language classes: “It makes it easier to create resources and to go back to something we have previously learned. I am really grateful for the support,” she said.
Learn more about the Homes Plus My Community Fund and apply for grants online at https://www.homesplus.co.uk/help-and-advice/the-my-community-fund/