As we approach the end of February, we look at what we have achieved over the past 2 months. The nation is still in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, but we have been fortunate enough to have put on some events and activities, albeit with reduced capacity, and hopefully, as the year progresses, we can add to these.
The Family Centre (Deaf Children) have more families on our books than ever which is fantastic. We extend a warm welcome to you all. It is lovely to meet new families at events.
At FCDC we love to see happy, smiling children and their families. Seeing their confidence grow as they take part in events makes our hearts happy.
In addition to activities and events that we run, we also have supported some of our families with counselling and play therapy.
Take a look at what we have been up to…
Have you ever watched the Muppets Swedish Chef Living Dough short film? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-dzu7-YHLo) Well, we weren’t quite as messy but came a close second! Pizza Express hosted us for a pizza making workshop at their Cribbs Causeway restaurant. Spaces were limited and sold out faster than it took for the dough to prove that we booked a second session for 2 weeks later. To protect our clothing from copious amounts of flour we wore disposable aprons and a fancy chef’s hat, all looking like professionals. The children took to their seats and were given an amount of flour to place the pre-made dough onto and then were shown how to knead it into shape and how to stretch it before placing into a pizza pan. Tomato bases were carefully added, with tasters of course, followed by a selection of toppings to choose from for our budding chefs to add to their pizzas. When the pizzas were cooking the kids sat around eating dough balls with garlic butter, cucumber, and tomatoes. Soon our cooked pizzas were delivered to our tables ready for us to eat. Take home boxes were available so none went to waste. Tea and coffee for the adults, with a chance to chat. An enjoyable morning.
We ran 2 sessions at the same time at Mojo during the February half term, Nerf Gun battle for the 6–10-year-olds and Archery Tag for the over 10’s. We were lucky to have a chosen a day when the winds were minimal and blue sky could be seen, a vast contrast to the storms we had been battered with in the day’s prior. The Nerf gun group went off for a safety briefing with instructor Amy, whilst the Archery Tag group followed Ollie down to the field for their safety briefing. What is great about Mojo is that is that it doesn’t take long before any worries the children may have soon vanish and are replaced with smiles and laughter. The Nerf Gun battle took place in and around a circle of hay bales. Lots of fun. The archery took a bit of practice to get used to, but it wasn’t long before arrows (foam tipped) were being fired at one another.
Both groups got muddy, and all seemed to enjoy the hour-long session. I’m sure it won’t be long before we return.
For around 18 months now we have been fortunate to have award winning BSL tutor, John Mancini from Sign Jam, deliver 6-week beginners BSL courses to small groups over Zoom. John is fantastic, engaging and has a great sense of humour that makes learning fun as well as practical. He covers the basics and teaches sentences to use as a foundation to better communicate with a deaf person through BSL. We have had whole families learn together on a screen, individuals, parents, aunties, Dads on lunchbreaks, mums with babies at home, children, and a best friend who has been learning with support from her school! How amazing! If you would like information or would like to put your name down for the next course, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of our members, Kay Confait, raised an outstanding £306 by holding a UWE Bristol RBI Bake Off competition with her work department at the University of the West of England! A huge thank you goes out to you and your colleagues Kay, we are very grateful for your efforts. We will be using the money to fund a team building activity day for our older children. This will challenge them, inspire them, promote well being, and encourage independence through a range of activities they may not normally be able to access. Many of our older children attend mainstream school and therefore have little interaction with other deaf children. Bringing them together through activities helps to boost their self confidence, and forms friendship and peer groups. Deaf children are twice as likely to suffer from mental health problems than their hearing peers. This has increased to 1 in every 3 children since the pandemic started. By providing days like this, we hope the statistics will improve.
Why not consider fundraising for us? A bake sale, jumble sale, sponsored walk, there is a plethora of ideas out there.