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Deaf Awareness Week at Mires Beck 

Deaf Awareness Week promotes positive aspects of living with deafness. This year's theme is called 'coming through it together', which is about continuing to raise awareness now more than ever due to people with deafness not having as much support due to the pandemic. 
At Mires Beck Nursery we support our service users who are deaf or have a hearing impairment by providing them with staff members who speak sign-language. 
For Deaf Awareness Week, our service user Callum and staff member Shelley will be signing the chorus of The Greatest Showman 'This Is Me', using Makaton sign language. We will also be remembering our service user, Robert, who lived with deafness, and sadly passed away last year. His family have bought a plinth and sundial in his memory, and will be unveiled during Deaf Awareness Week to commemorate Robert's 16 years at Mires Beck. 

About our beloved Robert 

Where needs are met, and goals are achieved with no pressure. The attendees at Mires Beck are differently abled and have care plans to meet their needs as an individual. 
After a life changing illness Robert became an attendee at Mires Beck. Born profoundly deaf, communication could be challenging, but with patience, encouragement, and reassurance from all 
the staff, this became an ongoing achievement. His confidence grew, and he mixed and made friends. 
Robert achieved the NPTC certificate Land based (Land and Plant skills,) also Mires Beck Health and Safety certificate. Roberts’s quality of life improved inside and outside of Mires Beck and had sixteen happy years at the nursery. 
Thank you all for your Deaf Awareness. 
R.I.P. 21.3.2020 
Writeen for this celebration by Roberts mother Ruby. Thank you. 
A Piece from Steve (Leader of Robert's Team) 
Robert started at Mires Beck in the Summer of 2004 and for the next 16 years worked tirelessly as a valued and greatly appreciated member of the wildflower team. From the moment he started, Robert had found a place that offered care, support, purpose, friendship, joy, a sense of achievement and a place to learn new skills. Robert could complete any task given to him, to a very high standard and with a smile on his face. His main two tasks were pricking out wildflower seedlings and the maintenance and care of the wildflower stock, both of which he could do independently and its estimated he must have contributed upwards of 250,000 plants in his time. 
Robert also liked help new service users when he saw them struggling. They truly appreciated his help and took on board his advice. 
He lived with deafness, but did not do either BSL or Makaton. He had two hearing aids and could hear some of what was said to him. He could read lips to an extent but struggled to speak himself. We came up with simple, almost acting gestures for work tasks describing, for example potting up, cutting back, pricking out. 
Robert is greatly missed by all at the nursery and though he could never be replaced we will endeavour to carry out the outstanding work that he did for so many years. 

Our Sign Language at Mires Beck 

A piece from Shelley (A Staff Member Who Uses Makaton/Humber Signing Sign Language) 
Makaton/Humber Signing sign language is used for basic communication to help understanding, develop language skills, and increases equal opportunity so that everyone can be involved. This language is used for non-verbal people and the hearing impaired, just like Robert was. This sign language includes the use of facial expressions to show emotion, and it is used as a general language to make sure everyone is included. 
A Piece from Janet (A Staff Member Who Speaks BSL Sign Language) 
I had wanted to learn BSL for some time but it wasn't until we had a new trainee arrive who used it to communicate that I attended classes. At first, the trainee's Mum came with him, helped us to understand him and showed us some signs. As I became more able to sign, his Mum stopped coming. I taught other members of staff the basic signs and over the years a few more colleagues have learnt to sign. 
Over the last few years we have brought groups of trainees together and have tried to teach them the signs for common everyday words, such as "good morning", "hello", "how are you", "good", "bad", "happy", so that any trainees who use BSL can feel more included. We also had a 'sign of the week' that everyone at Mires Beck was encouraged to learn. 
We have had a few trainees who use sign language now, and we have fun with Danny who tries to teach us more signs. 
If you would like to help people with deafness, please help us train more of our valued staff by donating to us. 
Please watch Callum and Shelley signing to the song "This Is Me" from The Greatest Showman below: 
All projects require fundraising and we are always looking for new sponsors and volunteers to help us realise the future aspirations to maintain the charity and help it to thrive. If you would like to help please contact us.  
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