Signing choir set for special performance in front of MPs

Daniel Jillings with his mum Ann and Varley the dog, after being crowned the overall Stars of Lowest

Daniel Jillings with his mum Ann and Varley the dog, after being crowned the overall Stars of Lowestoft and Waveney award winner last year. Next week, with the Lowestoft Signing Choir, they will perform for Parliament. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

A signing choir that raises deaf awareness in the community and promotes the use of British Sign Language is set for a special performance next week.

Members of the Lowestoft Signing Choir will perform for MPs and their staff during a Parliament visit next Wednesday, July 10.

Founded in 2003, the Lowestoft Signing Choir raises deaf awareness through performances of popular songs, hymns and carols in sign language.

The performance follows a long campaign by Daniel Jillings, from Lowestoft, to urge the Department for Education to bring forward a British Sign Language GCSE, in time for him to sit his exams.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous said: "I am delighted to welcome the Lowestoft Signing Choir to Portcullis House, who do brilliant work in throwing a spotlight on Deaf Awareness nationally.

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"Members of the choir - Daniel Jillings and his mother Ann Jillings - have campaigned tirelessly to secure a BSL GCSE, which would enable deaf students to sit a GCSE in their first language, greatly improving the opportunities of deaf children up and down the country.

"I am pleased that the Department for Education have committed to bring forward the BSL GCSE and hopefully preparations will be made in time for Daniel to sit his exams."

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A spokesman for Lowestoft Signing Choir said: "We are delighted that Peter Aldous has invited the Lowestoft Signing Choir for what may be the first ever signing choir performance at Portcullis House.

"We are proud to join him in supporting the NDCS "Right to Sign" campaign alongside Daniel, who is a valued member of the choir.

"We feel very privileged to have this opportunity to perform some of our favourite songs in the rich, beautiful language of BSL.

"We hope that MPs and their staff will enjoy the performance and will understand more about why a BSL GCSE is so important to the futures of deaf children."

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