The Courier

Fears for future of Tayside Deaf Children’s Society

The Cormie family , mum Alison , dad Stuart and 11-year-old Ellie accepted a cheque from the pupils of Aberlemno primary to support the work of the Tayside Deaf Children's Society

A plea has gone out for more members to come forward to safeguard the future of a Tayside charity which helps deaf youngsters.

The Tayside Deaf Children’s Society (TDCS) has struggled to find members over the last few years, prompting chairman Stuart Cormie to warn it would be “disastrous” if it closed.

The group of parents, professionals and friends of deaf children and young adults meets monthly to organise events, plan fundraising activities and discuss issues such as health, education and technology.

They aim to support to children and their families throughout Angus, Dundee, Perth and Kinross, helping them tackle feelings of isolation.

The local charity is affiliated to the national deaf children’s society but there are fears the local branch will close if new members do not come forward.

Stuart, from Netherton in Angus, became involved in the Tayside group after his daughter, Ellie, was born profoundly deaf.

She had her first cochlea implant at the age of 16 months and the second when she was almost three and they have transformed her life.

Stuart said: “We heard about a local charity called TDCS which we went along to and found great understanding, help and support.

“I have been involved in the group for the last five years and have learned lots about awareness and working with deaf children.

“It has been difficult getting people to come on board and the last two years has been touch and go,” he added.

“We offer support for families with children with hearing loss. We organise trips, have parties at Christmas and Halloween.”

He said the help offered by parents and families who have experienced similar difficulties and triumphs was invaluable.

As well as offering friendship and support, the society provides items of equipment which may help to make the home environment a little safer and easier for deaf children, ensures equal access to the  group by providing interpreters at meetings, raises funds and promotes deaf awareness in all areas.

Stuart continued: “A lot of deaf children can feel very isolated but we bring them together.

“This enables the children, and their parents, to reassure each other, it is like a little community. We can share experiences.”

Ellie went to Aberlemno Primary School  before moving on to Forfar Academy and returned to collect proceeds from a collection held at the end of term service which have been donated to TDCS.

Stuart said the Aberlemno team had been a great help.

“It’s a very small country school and has been fantastic in the support and development of Ellie,” he added.

To find out more about the group contact secretary Debbie Hamilton at d.hamilton80@hotmail.co.uk or call 07824 099312 or visit its Facebook page.