On the Saturday the 27th October Nikki Beech and her staff from Zebra worked very hard to produce a great success of our latest DPDC event, which was sponsored by both Zebra Uno and Remark! Community.
The children’s event was Halloween themed activity day at a lovely venue called Bantock House in Wolverhampton for all the 25 children who attended with the volunteers from Zebra Uno. The children were greeted by tables with different activities such as making your own ghost puppet, face painting, sticky clay making, drawing scary faces and other ghostly activities.
The parents got together in the adjoining room and we began with the introductions for the new parents whom we were delighted to see join us, and then we went through the agenda updating everyone with progress since our last National meeting in Nottingham at the National Ice Centre in September 2011.
I think everyone was impressed with what DPDC had achieved in the last year with the new website, new Facebook group, meetings with various organisations and charities as well having set up three different events for our children.
DPDC take important steps
We were delighted when we started the morning with a newly fangled committee – Alison Spear is now our new Treasurer, Michelle Raperport-Smyth is our new Members Officer, Jonathan Raperport-Smyth is our new Communications Officer and Nick Beese and Lilli Risner were elected as Chair and Vice Chair respectively.
We all decided on our next three DPDC events which will be:
23rd February – Northwhich Deaf Club (Parents and children’s event and a fundraising event in the evening open to all – Michele Raperport Smyth)
26th – 29th July 2013 – SignCircle at Preston – We hope to set up a DPDC stall/Tent.
October 2013 (TBC) – Derby (Parents and children’s event and a fundraising event in the evening open to all – Helen Phillips)
We all also unanimously voted for members to start paying £20 a year to help DPDC register as a charity in order to be able to apply to organisations such as Big Lottery to fund some of our long-term goals.
We reunited with our children to stop for a long lunch and to catch up with old faces, lots of funny stories were told during lunch! In the afternoon the children were whisked away to a room in a stately manor next to Bantock House to be told a spooky story by Zebra’s very own deaf witch!
The future of DPDC
We talked about the future of DPDC and what we need to focus on for the next year, we decided that we needed to put some of our long term goals on hold until we get some funding and in the meantime to focus on fundraising opportunities and to continue with setting up events for our children with a focus on setting up sports days in the near future.
We finished with a workshop session where we could talk about anything in particular we wanted to talk about and what we wanted from DPDC – we talked about the importance of free sign language classes for hearing parents with deaf children and how we could help with this, we decided that we would need to encourage our local deaf companies to set up a social enterprise to provide free BSL classes for families. We also talked about the best way to deal with the frustration of other people not understanding why we choose to use BSL with our children.
At the end all the parents spoke about how recharged they felt being with other parents from a similar family set up and at seeing their children mix with other children so well and so effortlessly in their own natural language.
Huge thanks to Remark! Community and Zebra Uno for their sponsorship of the event. We are very grateful for the continued support of Remark! Community who have played an instrumental part in supporting Deaf Parents Deaf Children since its launch. A special thanks also to Nikki Stratton for organising the event, and to Zebra Uno and their staff and the scary BSL witch who dropped in from the sky to tell some fantastic stories! They all did a brilliant job entertaining the kids! Watch this space for what’s coming next from DPDC!
Report by Lilli & Nick