New Activities In Devon Are Being Opened Up To Deaf People

New Activities In Devon Are Being Opened Up To Deaf People
An innovative new project funded by Sport England which encourages more Deaf people to be active and gain the skills to lead activities is launching on 6th October at Haven Banks in Exeter. The event is a full day of free, fun taster activities, workshops and presentations beginning with a Deaf Takeover of parkrun at 9.00 am at Exeter’s Riverside parkrun.
Deaf Get Active and Volunteer is managed by Living Options Devon with support from Active Devon. Drawing onresearch that shows deaf people are often keen to involve family and friends when being active and like to get involved in activities that integrate both the hearing and Deaf communities, the programme is rolling out a variety of fully inclusive activities aimed at welcoming both hearing and Deaf people.
“Deaf Get Active and Volunteer is working with a wide range of activity providers to adapt their sessions to be both welcoming and inclusive for Deaf people. “By setting up some buddying and mentoring arrangements we are demonstrating that once given the skills and confidence, deaf people can be amazing volunteers who in turn inspire more deaf people to give activity a try,”
said Lorraine Harris from Active Devon who is one of the project team bringing the Deaf Get Active programme to life. 
The three year Deaf Get Active and Volunteer programme offers a rich variety of ways for the Deaf community to engage with and have access to new opportunities to be active right across Devon. The programme is managed by a mixed team of Deaf and hearing people brokering relationships with partners to offer inclusive, welcoming experiences to the Deaf community. They also use a diverse group of Ambassadors to show how to get involved with and lead active projects as a Deaf person in Devon.
The launch day on 6th October will provide a platform for Deaf participants to have a go at a wide variety of different sports activities including Tai Chi, Climbing, Stand Up Paddle Boarding and a variety of other inclusive activities.  Following the Deaf Takeover parkrun in the morning, the day will continue with a Key Note Speech from Valerie Copenhagen from GB Deaf Tennis. There will also be lots of help, support and training on offer to inspire Deaf people to set up clubs and sessions of their own.  All Deaf Get Active volunteers will have the chance to support sessions with BSL and work alongside hearing coaches to co-deliver activity sessions. Deaf Get Active and Volunteer has been rolling out this model through a number of Devon’s parkruns with volunteers involved in signing for deaf participants and supporting them to take their first steps into activity.
Volunteers have the chance to take part in an Effective Communications course which is being offered at no charge from UK Deaf Sport. Further Deaf Awareness training sessions will be offered throughout the project duration to partners.

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