North London Deaf Children’s Society AGM Committee Report for 2016
Presented to members on 11th March 2017
The NLDCS aims to bring accessible events and activities to deaf children and their families in a inclusive safe environment where ideas and knowledge can be shared and friendships made. We have achieved this in 2016 by holding the following events and committee activities.
In 2016, the NLDCS began the year with a three-month initiative to reach out to teenagers via a National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) grant and a partnership with the Royal Association for Deaf People (RAD). These events focused on that difficult transition period between primary and secondary school and aimed at fostering friendships, building confidence and learning new skills. The young people aged 13+ took part in a team building workshop, a dry ski slope lesson, practical training on using public transport and a visit to an outdoors activity centre to engage in team building and leadership skills.
In April, a party for everyone was held in East Finchley with a mini Olympic theme to celebrate Rio 2016. The children were given free range of the hall with the experienced sports specialist and the parents encouraged to mix in the area nearer the kitchen away from the balls and races.
In May, eight families met to enjoy the lanes at the Hollywood Bowl. Mums caught up while the kids vied to see which lane would win. Thanks to the dads that came along and who ably managed the teams while the mums caught up with each other!
At the British Museum, the NLDCS had an information stand at the fully accessible Under the Sea Family Discovery Day which also included stands and activities from other providers such as the Science Museum, Arsenal Deaf Football, CICS and the Crick Institute. The whole day was coordinated by Camden Family Learning and Frank Barnes School to be fully accessible to all deaf families and was thoroughly enjoyed by our members.
Due to the low turn-out over the last few years for our summer activity, we opted for a picnic in Highgate Woods before the school holidays started. Ten families turn out to celebrate the summer on a beautiful day to meet friends and make new ones. Families brought food to share, games were played and the NLDCS treated all the children to an ice cream from the café.
On a beautiful day in September 18 NLDCS children took to two wheels for an exciting day at the Olympic Velodrome in Stratford. With three activities booked, children from the age of 2 right through to 16 were treated to a thrilling experience. The older children (and one dad!) experienced the rocky trails of the mountain bike track that surround the Olympic park. The sessions for the younger children took part in the centre of the velodrome where cones were negotiated and skills perfected. This event took place due to the generosity of the Lee Valley Velopark and the National Deaf Children's Society.
In October, 14 families dressed as witches and vampires and other things that bump in the night for our Halloween themed fancy dress party. A spookily themed tea and fancy dress competition took place in the hall decorated by courtesy of free decorations from Tesco and Poundland and others donated by the committee.
Our year ended with our traditional theatre trip – this year to see the fully integrated BSL and captioned Adventures to Oz. The show was full of wonderful vibrant sets and costumes, complemented by an equally colourful and inclusive cast. There were familiar characters like Dorothy, Scarecrow and Tin Man but we were also introduced to some new faces such as Ojo, Patchwork and Unlucky Munchkin. 12 families attended on the day with both young, old, hearing & deaf captivated by this fabulous show. There were treats and refreshments at the interval for all to enjoy and it was heartwarming to see and hear the children sharing their favorite bits.
At our last AGM in January the committee elected for 2016 was Andrea Dean (secretary & editor), Esther Conway (chair), Denis Coelho (acting treasurer), Jody Sacks, Linda Sells, Donna Tuffs (designated member for child protection), Lauren Rapacioli, Sharon Webb and Maggie O’Regan. Naheeda Syed sadly stood down from the committee due to work commitments. Sharon kindly took over responsibility for ensuring DBS requirements are fulfilled.
Due to lack of availability not so many extra activities were attended by the committee and there was no representative present at either NDCS training or the NDCS National Council. Committee members did however take part in a focus group in February on the future plans of the NDCS.
Esther represented parents an event organized by the NDCS and NATSIP in November about local authorities’ commissioning services for deaf children to ensure that commissioners understood the issues facing families.The NLDCS was added to the Haringey Family Information Service Directory website as a contact for families and plans are in action for addition to other local council services lists.
NLDCS communications continue to improve. We have a private Facebook Group for members. The website www.NLDCS.org.uk continues to attract visitors and reach new members. Andrea Dean edited our newsletter, Deaf Matters, alongside her role as Secretary. The newsletter includes information about NLDCS events and topics such as government policies, NDCS campaigns and local services for deaf families. In addition to this, any interesting emails are forwarded to members when appropriate.
In 2016, we were very lucky to receive a donation two donations from Waitrose totalling £680, thanks to the green token scheme, Charity Matters.
Other income was achieved by successful grant applications to the NDCS for the Local Groups Grant, which funded the Velodrome Cycling and the Youth Activities Grant which funded the three events run in collaboration with RAD at the beginning of the year. Two further successful applications were submitted in 2016 for activities in 2017.
Plans for 2017
We have a range of events already organized for 2017. A further grant from the NDCS has enabled the NLDCS to work with Royal Association for Deaf People (RAD) to run an event for teenagers aged 14+. We are planning another theatre outing, another party during the year and some events for our younger members.
To: our committee member, Jody deserves a special mention for hosting committee meetings and this AGM and whose wonderful cakes are legendary;
To Treasurer Linda, who continued to manage our finances while unwell during 2016 and to Denis who stepped in as acting treasurer at meetings.
To member Jess White – who designed a new banner logo for the NLDCS.
To all our members who attend our events!
Want to get involved? We need more committee members.