Julie Turner, service co-ordinator, tells us a little more about the organisation and its achievements to date.
What's happened so far with your project?
Between March and September, 2042 visits have been made to our drop-ins and 40 people have been supported in care homes. We have also delivered Deaf Awareness training to 168 people in 22 organisations with overwhelmingly positive feedback. Our work was recognised by Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway at their annual awards, where we won the Organisation Supporting Older and Vulnerable People award, and Dumfries and Galloway NHS Celebrating Excellence Awards, where we picked up Volunteer of the Year.
What's still to come?
As well as continuing to offer our Deaf Awareness training and raising awareness of issues facing deaf people, we are in the process of setting up meetings with four more care homes in Dumfries and Galloway to develop our care and maintenance service further. We also plan to develop a social drop-in at Castle Douglas in the next couple of months due to demand in the area.
What tips would you give to other organisations looking to do this kind of work?
Working in partnership is very important. We have an operations group which meets bi-monthly with volunteers, audiology, social work and Visibility, a charity working with hearing loss and visual impairment. This enables us to continually develop our service and communicate with our partners. It is also very important to evaluate your services regularly. For instance, the feedback we received from our Deaf Awareness training initally enabled us to develop the programme to meet the needs of the staff attending. Finally, network with lots of different organisations to ensure your services reach as many people as possible.