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Newsletter: Summer 2019

We will be piloting a new one-day course in the autumn – Making the Most of your Hearing – designed to help people with mild to moderate hearing loss, people with deteriorating hearing, carers and family members and anyone who works with people with hearing loss. The course will provide:

  • Information on the assistive technology available to help people with hearing loss – hearing aids, loop systems, amplified phones, text relay services and other devices to aid communication
  • Tips for making the most of your residual hearing
  • An introduction to lip-reading
  • An introduction to sign language

The first session will be on 30th September – contact us for further information, or to book your place on the course.

At our AGM in June we celebrated the long service of our honorary secretary Chris McKenna – pictured right with the gifts of flowers and champagne presented to her by fellow trustees.

Harry Hill, chair, commented, “I would like to thank our secretary Chris McKenna who is chalking up 20 years as a trustee this year. Chris became a trustee at the AGM on Saturday 7th August 1999, one of six trustees appointed at that meeting, and the only remaining trustee from that time.

Walthew House owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Chris, whose attention to detail as secretary to the board is extraordinary, and whose contribution to the good governance of Walthew House through times of financial difficulty, through the charity’s merger with the Deaf Centre and its change in legal structure, demonstrates her vast wealth of knowledge and commitment. Over the years, she has also received an enormous number of cheques on behalf of the charity and serves as a volunteer on our help desk and at events.

Our Making More Happen project has been tremendously busy over the past few weeks. Our American Friends day welcomed visitors from the American sister church of Christ Church Stockport, which meets at Walthew House each Sunday. The visitors got together with Walthew members in the morning to decorate American themed cupcakes, and in the afternoon we served a British afternoon tea.

 British afternoon tea

Our most popular event so far was a trip to Trentham Gardens in Staffordshire, filling a 57 seater coach. The group (pictured below right, waving at the camera in glorious sunshine) included visually impaired members with volunteer sighted guides, deaf members and our interpreter Teresa, who provided communication support on the day.

Trentham Gardens

Making More Happen isn’t just supporting events and activities – in July we organised a Well-being Workshop, and we also run a monthly Assistive Technology User group. The photo …right. shows Ray with volunteer Ian using our new desktop computer with accessible features. Ray, who is 92 years young enjoys Skyping family members in other countries and was interested to learn how better to set up his computer to adjust for his deteriorating sight.

Assistive Technology User group

The new desktop computer, new smartphones (iPhone and Android) and Amazon Alexa and Google Home have been supported by generous grants from ASDA Local Fund and The Greggs Foundation. Making More Happen is supported by the Lottery Reaching Communities Programme, and has recently received additional funding from Boshier-Hinton Foundation towards the cost of sign language interpretation, and The Co-op Community Fund, Douglas Arter Foundation and The Good Things Foundation with support to provide additional activities. We are immensely grateful for this additional support which is enabling the project to make even more happen!

Upcoming events include a signed and sighted guided trip to Robinson’s Brewery in Stockport and a trip to see the Christmas events at Dunham Massey.

Recently we ran a half-day sensory loss awareness training session for Right at Home (pictured right), a company that provides care for people in their own homes, to help them better support their clients who have sight or hearing loss.

Right at Home

Walthew House provides training to organisations and groups to help them better understand the needs of their clients with sight or hearing loss as part of its accessible information work. Let us know if this is something you’d be interested in.

Walthew House relies very heavily on fundraised and donated funds and people help in diverse ways. Father and daughter-in-law Ged and Karen Bailey recently celebrated ‘significant’ birthdays and generously asked for donations to Walthew House instead of presents. They are pictured right blowing out the candles on their cake.

Ged and Karen Bailey

Meanwhile, Moor Running Friends, a group of runners from Heaton Moor are doing 5k and 10k runs in support of Walthew, donating money at their coffee mornings. They are shown right at the Big Fun Run 5k in Heaton Park with their medals.

Moor Running Friends

Finally, we’d like to give colleagues at Co-op Edgeley a special mention for their generosity in supporting in-store collections and providing prizes for raffles and events, and Bramhall and Woodford Rotary Club for supporting our recent awareness raising day and collection in Bramhall Village.