Future Voices: Big D Festival helps mark Deaf Awareness Week

Future Voices D 4 Dance performing

Future Voices D 4 Dance performing - Credit: Archant

On Thursday 21st May 2015, for the second year running, I helped to organise and successfully run the 'Big 'D' Festival' along with other Youth Forum members at The Forum in Norwich.

The event was held to mark Deaf Awareness Week and to raise awareness of disabilities in general.

It was opened by Judith Lubbock the Lord Mayor of Norwich who said 'it has been a fantastic day and I have learned a lot today.' During one of our sign language workshops Judith learned the sign for 'Norwich Champion', which she was going to use later that day when she was appearing on T.V.

The day included a signing choir from Colman Road Junior School, D4Dance performed an expressive dance, Inspirational talks and film from Joan Latta, Tom Shakespeare, and Jordan Bone, a workshop from Musical Keys and many others things throughout the day. There were 19 stall holders from different charities and organisations providing information and advice to those that attended.

Alex Wilkins, 37, from Norwich, attended the event and performed with D4dance. He said 'it was an awesome event. Taking part in D4dance performance was great. I love showing people what I can do. The signing choir was fab and there was just so much information.'

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Beverley Cliff and her daughter Isobel, who are both deaf, also attended the event. She said 'we really enjoyed the day. There was a wide range of information from stall holders. My daughter loved the art competition and Musical Keys Workshop.'

As a youth Forum Member my responsibilities were to plan the event, prepare invites, administration work, welcome people to the event and even learn a dance to perform on the stage!

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I enjoyed the whole event, from the planning to performing in the dance on stage and meeting lots of new people. I learned about other peoples' experiences of disabilities which I believe is important for the Youth Forum to continue its great work.

This event has definitely made me feel more confident. I hope there will be a third 'Big 'D' Festival' next year!

Georgia Tye, 22, Equal Lives Youth Forum Member.

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