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Devonshire Freemasons Donate £15,000 to Local Deaf Charity



The Devonshire Provincial Charity Steward Anthony Eldred and Provincial Press Officer Alec Collyer had great pleasure in visiting “Deaf Choices UK” (DCUK) at their offices on Totnes Steamer Quay and presenting them with a donation from the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) for £15,000.

DCUK  aim to make options available to all who need it from diagnosis of deafness, so they can enable deaf babies/children and young people to fulfil their potential, integrating them into family life, bolstering friendships and paving the way for successful careers.

Offering support to parents of deaf children to make the best choices for Language, Literacy, and Communication is fundamental to their care. 

Every deaf child and every family have a unique set of needs and DCUK help families navigate and explore the choices that are available to them, so make an informed choice to best meet the needs of their child.

Currently, with eight part-time staff and around 30 volunteers, they help 136 families with 420 Children.

Current advances in hearing tests on newborns have meant that problems can be identified much earlier resulting in much better long term outcomes. Their reach is UK wide, and even sometimes overseas.

Anthony Eldred, Provincial Charity Steward, said:

“Whenever we visit local charities like DCUK, I’m always taken aback by the drive and enthusiasm of those we meet. We were shown the learning books and aids developed to help Children learn signing, speech and communication skills. I’m surprised that such a necessary special educational need doesn’t attract any statutory funding, so we hope that our donation of £15,000 will be a real boost for the charity and the DCUK team.”

Henrietta Ireland, Executive Director of DCUK, said:

“On Tuesday, 25th of June, Deaf Choices UK  (DCUK) received their very generous donation of £15,000 over three years from the Devonshire Freemasons.  DCUK are a Charity who supports parents of deaf children and we have two Early Years Project, ‘Love Reading,’ and ‘CHOICES.’ We want to support every family of a deaf child; we currently support over 400 deaf children across the UK.  All our support and training for families with deaf children in the UK is Free of charge and is provided by our Choice Advisors.

DCUK are the only organisation in the UK to train parents and professionals to use Cued Speech (CS.)  CS  is a visual code for English.  It enables all the 44 sounds of English to be received by a deaf person visually.  Our work with parents helps them to, understand hearing technology, understand the importance of early language development and understand all of the choices for language acquisition and literacy learning.

DCUK also understand the impact on children if they are struggling to learn to read, in response to this we have developed a reading resource to suppport children in their early years at school with literacy.  The resource is called Nan-in-a-Van and is specially devised to help children with special educational needs and deafness.

The contribution made by Devonshire Freemasons and the Masonic Charitable Foundation will help to pay towards supporting both of our Early Years projects so that more deaf children have language and literacy right from the start when help has the power to change lives.”

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