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Volunteer work with knowledge of BSL/Makaton

(14 Posts)
mumoverseas Thu 23-Jun-11 07:13:35

I'm looking for suggestions of places where I may be able to do some volunteering and be useful to someone.

Have done BSL Level 1 (many years ago and started BSL Level 2 but then moved abroad due to DH's work) Have done Makaton courses and doing a 2 day refresher in London in a few weeks. For the past few years have been running baby and toddler sign language classes in the Middle East.

I am now finally returning to the real world/UK and want to be useful. Any suggestions on places/organisations that might have something for me? Based in West Sussex but willing to travel if needs me. TIA

ohmeohmy Thu 23-Jun-11 07:18:58

hospitals? court houses?

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Thu 23-Jun-11 07:32:59

baby signing is popular over here so you could always see if any of the local tutors wanted some help with their classes. You could try the childrens centres to see if they run any sn groups or the local special schools maybe, the local portage service?

for your bsl, there maybe a base for deaf children that would appreciate a bit of help or if you want to brush up your skills you join the local Deaf club, they may also be able to give you a few ideas.

mumoverseas Thu 23-Jun-11 08:05:45

hi, am already in touch with the lady that does local babysigning, in fact it was her that gave me the idea to set up my business a few years ago after I took DD to her classes. There might be the option of work with her in the future but would love to do something as a volunteer.

A bit disappointed after just looking at the NDCS website, it appears that unless I'm black and have BSL Level 3 the don't want me, unless I want to make the tea sad

Have sent off emails to local Deaf club and a school so fingers crossed. Will look into SN schools. Thanks for suggestions, I feel I need to be doing something when I return. Have spent far too long being useless wink

signandsmile Thu 23-Jun-11 08:34:36

may also be worth contacting audiology dept, or sensory impairment teams at social services, (some audiology dept will train/use volunteers re hearing aid support, an altho most with not be signers, some will be (and more likely to be kids) also SI teams may have contact with local groups who use volunteers.

I'd also recommend taking up the level 2 BSL again, as a level two signer will have more opportunites.

I use SSE with my son (no HI, but ASD and LD, and (up to recently) minimal speech,) but have BSL 2 and also makaton training as well. PM me if you want to.

PS not sure if it's your 'bag' but some local churches will use volunteers to translate services/support communication if they have Deaf attendees. I run a small team that translates worship and sermon for a couple of Deaf guys who come to our church.

Good luck smile

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Thu 23-Jun-11 09:36:32

I'd agree with sign, I think bsl level 2 would be very useful for you to have, I know here you have to have level 2 minimum to work with deaf children. Courses usually start september time so not too long a wait if that's what you decide. If not the ndcs itself, what about the ndcs groups, they may appreciate some help at any events they do.

sign, your ds is doing fab with his speech, coming on all of a sudden smile I finished my level 2 this week!!!!! Hope all's going well with school still smile

signandsmile Thu 23-Jun-11 12:52:56

hi ninjagoose yeah, yesterday he spent the day saying 'flippy flops' as he has just decided he does like his flip flops! grin Yay finishing the course, Is it assessment as you go thru, or still exam at the end? I have three more weeks of teaching the school staff (SSE) and they have been brilliant, ds is so looking forward to 'bi schoo' grin

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Thu 23-Jun-11 13:11:33

he's doing so well sign!!!! Good to hear school are still getting stuck into the learning, it makes all the difference and gives you some confidence in them smile We've had 3 exams over the last 6 weeks, probably closer together than usual as our course was condensed because the tutor had an op so we started in january rather than september. So first exam was receptive skills, watch a video and answer questions, second was tell a story and third was a conversation with the tutor, don't know how much it's changed, I think it used to be 1 exam?

signandsmile Thu 23-Jun-11 17:04:52

yeah, used to be all in one, and all at the end, so you couldn't gauge how you were going until it was too late!. So you are all done and passed then?

sign does little dance round living room signing 'well done goose'! grin

mumoverseas Thu 23-Jun-11 17:15:12

thanks for your suggestions. I emailed a few places this morning and got a very positive response from a local centre which has children with hearing problems/SN that use makaton and they would like to meet with me on my return to the UK. Am feeling very hopeful as feel I need to do something useful/positive/constructive after vegetating for 5 years.

I have looked into BSL Level 2 at my local college but they don't appear to offer it anymore unless they haven't updaed their courses from September. They did show a working towards Level 2 course which started in April and therefore should have finished by now. I will visit the college on my return and try to find out more.

Have also found out which local pubs the Deaf/Communication clubs meet at now so once I summons up the courage I will pop along there.

signandsmile Thu 23-Jun-11 17:16:30

let us know how you get on.... good luck smile

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Thu 23-Jun-11 21:24:44

good luck mumoverseas smile

sign, passed the first part, that's the bit I was most worried about, just waiting to hear about the other 2 parts now.

signandsmile Thu 23-Jun-11 21:27:56

ah... let us know when the results are in and I will give an encore of the dance! grin wink

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Thu 23-Jun-11 21:41:26

thanks grin

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