Hands that Talk needs YOUR vote

Dungiven charity, Hands That Talk is through to the semi-finals of The National Lottery Awards and needs your vote to win!

The Lottery-funded project “Breaking down the barriers to Social Inclusion” is one of only ten projects to make it through to the semi-finals in the Best Voluntary/Charity Project category of the National Lottery Awards and is the only project to make it through from Northern Ireland. The Awards are an annual search to find the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects, and they recognise and celebrate the difference that Lottery-funded projects make to communities across the UK.

Hands That Talk is a voluntary organisation committed to improving the quality of life for deaf people by providing access to employment, education and services.

Emma McGill, Executive Officer, explains, “The funding supplied to us by the Lottery has enabled us to break down the barriers to social inclusion by enabling our Centre to run courses to educate and inform the Deaf community. We have run educational courses such as Essential Skills in English and Maths and I.T courses as well as vocational courses such as flower arranging and fly fishing. Our information sessions include personal protection and health advice, we aim to inform the Deaf community of the vital messages they often miss out on due to the lack of provision of information and services in the target language of the Deaf community, Sign Language. We have been able to provide Deaf Awareness classes, Sign Language classes from basic level to NVQ Level 4 and also a Junior Trainee Interpreting course which will help to bring new interpreters up to MRSLI (fully qualified) standards therefore allowing the Deaf community increased access to interpreters and communication support. “There is a severe lack of interpreters in Northern Ireland and Hands That Talk are proud to be helping nurture and train interpreters to give the Deaf community the choice and professionalism they deserve. Overall the project has enabled the Deaf community to enjoy a much more deaf aware society where communication barriers have been broken down and opportunities exist for personal growth and confidence building.

“To win a National Lottery Award would be a massive boost for Hands That Talk. It would promote our fantastic work and raise awareness of deaf culture and the problems faced by deaf people in everyday life.”

The winning project in each category will receive national recognition on a star-studded BBC One TV show in early November and, in addition to the Lottery funding they have already received, will receive a £2,000 cash prize to spend on their project.

Voting for the finals ends at midday on Monday 20 June. To register your vote for, Hands That Talk – Breaking down the barriers to Social Inclusion, please call: 0844 836 9736 or log on to www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards go to Best Voluntary / Charity Project – Hands That Talk and click the VOTE NOW button.