The East Lancashire Deaf Society (ELDS) will be able to boost its work in helping young deaf people improve their employment prospects after Charity Bank has provided a £150,000 loan.
Charity Bank lends exclusively to charities and social organisations and its latest loan to ELDS will be used to fund the refurbishment and conversion of part of ELDS’s flagship business centre in Blackburn. The new facility will provide deaf people with training and employment opportunities in the childcare, domiciliary care, joinery, catering, hospitality, IT and administration sectors.
ELDS explains that profoundly deaf people rely heavily on visual learning, with diagrams and pictorial references to reinforce signed communication. By providing state-of-the-art technology in bespoke classrooms the organisation can greatly improve the ability of deaf people to absorb and retain information.
ELDS operates by running remedial education, skills training schemes and arranging local work placements for the deaf community.
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Doug Alker, chair of ELDS, said, “Our long-term vision is that deaf people who use sign language are accepted as part of a diverse society. We hope that in the future deaf people’s numeracy and literacy skills will be on par with those of hearing people and that they can compete equally in the workplace. Charity Bank understands and supports this vision.”
Charity Bank has worked with ELDS for a number of years after providing a loan in 2010 to help the organisation finance a major renovation to a Grade II listed heritage building. The building now serves as a business and social enterprise for the deaf community.
Simon Thorrington, Charity Bank’s regional manager responsible for North West England, commented, “We have been working in partnership with ELDS for five years and during that time it has demonstrated how barriers can be broken down by employing and working with deaf people.”
He added, “The latest loan from Charity Bank will enable ELDS to provide a training programme for young deaf people who want to improve their skills, knowledge, qualification and aspirations’.”