Charity helped to stay afloat with £25k funding

Members of the West Norfolk Deaf Association at a meeting pre-Covid.

Members of the West Norfolk Deaf Association at a meeting pre-Covid. Picture: West Norfolk Deaf Association - Credit: West Norfolk Deaf Association

A Norfolk charity has received more than £25,000 funding to help provide support to people with hearing impairments, following a challenging financial year. 

The West Norfolk Deaf Association (WNDA) based in King's Lynn, was given the Health Lottery funding for its two-year support project which aims to reduce social isolation experienced by the local deaf community.

It comes after the charity's income and users were "hit hard" by the pandemic as it was forced to move the majority of its activities online.

But WNDA has said it has since adapted and "flourished" as a result of the hard work of its volunteers and added that the funding comes at a time where loneliness and isolation are on the rise across the country. 

WNDA Group members, Linda and Christine.

WNDA Group members, Linda and Christine. Picture: West Norfolk Deaf Association - Credit: West Norfolk Deaf Association 

The money will also be used to provide users with support through social activities facilitated by workers trained in British Sign Language, which includes weekly coffee mornings, smaller special interest groups and a series of informative sessions supported by an interpreter.

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Operations manager Lorraine Bussens said: “Although Covid-19 has presented great adversity and challenges, it has also brought about some opportunities that we otherwise wouldn’t have witnessed.

“The funding raised through The Health Lottery has really helped us stay afloat during these difficult times, without the funding, we wouldn’t have been able to give the deaf community the intense amount of support they have needed during the pandemic.

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“Through the funding, we were able to hire a BSL community worker to support the participants, we were also able to prepare very specific public health information videos, in BSL, about Covid-19, as they otherwise wouldn’t have had access to the information through ordinary outlets.

"Additionally, we arranged for craft kits to be delivered to the participants homes to keep them occupied and uplifted during these hard times of isolation."

Martin Ellice, managing director of the Health Lottery, said “We are always delighted to be supporting projects like this and we will continue to do our best to ensure that the projects have the means to continue their great work and uplift their local communities through these tough times of isolation."

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