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Disability organisation celebrates National Volunteer Week

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Disability organisation celebrates National Volunteer Week


Published by HearFirst for HearFirst in Education and also in Communities, Health

HearFirst tutor Mickey teaches Cherly and Angie from ecdp BSL HearFirst tutor Mickey teaches Cherly and Angie from ecdp BSL

An organisation which represents and supports disabled people through a range of programmes and services across the UK has held a series of events to celebrate National Volunteer Week.

ecdp, based in Chelmsford, organised a British Sign Language (BSL) training course for their volunteers, to improve their skills and confidence of working with BSL users.

The company is run by disabled people for disabled people and organised the training to celebrate National Volunteers’ Week, which celebrates the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK every year.

The training session was delivered by award winning workplace training and consultancy company, HearFirst and has already proved to be a big success with the volunteers.

During the session, they learnt new BSL skills and developed both their signing ability and deaf awareness generally. The training included a general introduction to BSL and signs such as the alphabet, key words and phrases.

One volunteer commented: “The BSL morning was one of the best sessions I have attended. It is my opinion that he gave just the right balance of teaching, humour and audience participation, I thoroughly enjoyed the morning and have since been on their website and even looked locally for NVQ courses as it is something I would like to gain a qualification in.”

Meanwhile, ecdp volunteer Barbara Allen, said: “It was very useful and allows me to communicate with a wider range of people.  Very clear, easy to follow and enjoyable too.”

The session was facilitated and delivered by HearFirst tutors, who are all deaf themselves. The purpose of this is to add relevance and depth to the training.

Julie Ryder, Director and Founder of HearFirst, said: “We were thrilled to be asked to deliver this fun workshop for ecdp volunteers.  There is no doubt that volunteers at ecdp get lots out of their role already but we were able to add to their enjoyment and satisfaction by teaching them new communication skills and sharing our knowledge of deafness.  

“Learning valuable skills in a relaxed environment helps participants grow in confidence and benefits the organisation as a whole – it’s a win win situation for everyone.”

William Snagge, Director of Policy and Development at edcp, said: “The BSL training from HearFirst was thoroughly enjoyable, but above all it enabled our volunteers to engage with a wider audience and strengthened their skills. We are committed to supporting our volunteers in their roles, and this training session allowed us to demonstrate this. HearFirst have proved to be an excellent resource for organisations like ecdp.”

HearFirst provides a full range of equality & diversity training courses to organisations across the UK. For more information on Deaf, disability awareness and BSL training, please contact Julie at HearFirst on 01706 872 816 or visit


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