Award helps to boost Dereham teenager’s sign language campaign

Jade Chapman (left) with her sister Laura. Picture: Ian Burt.

Jade Chapman (left) with her sister Laura. Picture: Ian Burt. - Credit: IAN BURT

More young people are being given the chance to learn sign language thanks to the inspirational campaign of teenager Jade Chapman.

The Bernard Matthews Youth Awards 2014. Rebecca Adlington with the winner of the Education Award, Ja

The Bernard Matthews Youth Awards 2014. Rebecca Adlington with the winner of the Education Award, Jade Chapman, and her younger sister, Laura. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2014

Seventeen-year-old Jade won the education award at the 2014 Bernard Matthews Youth Awards for her Let Sign Shine campaign, and she donated her £1,000 prize to her old school – Neatherd High School in Dereham – so that the school could offer sign language lessons to pupils.

Now the Bernard Matthews Youth Awards is looking for more amazing young people from Norfolk and Suffolk to honour at its 2015 awards.

Jade, whose inspiration for her campaign is her 11-year-old sister Laura who is profoundly deaf, said: 'I was so shocked when I won. I wasn't expecting it at all. It meant a lot to me because it meant I could put the prize money towards something very important to me.

'All of the prize money went to my former school to run sign language classes every Monday for 13 weeks, and seeing that put in place was amazing.' Jade, who has just finished her A-levels at Dereham Sixth Form and is hoping pursue a career in teaching, is determined to keep raising awareness about the importance of sign language.


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She is asking people to sign a petition calling for all schools to teach sign language, and so far she has collected about 4,500 signatures.

The Dereham teenager also encouraged other young people to enter this year's Bernard Matthews Youth Awards.

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'I think the Bernard Matthews Youth Awards are amazing, and it is great that they give prizes out to help people who want to help others. It's wonderful,' she said.

For more about Jade's Let Sign Shine campaign visit http://letsignshine.com/

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