Deaf charity stresses commitment to young people as it drops several youth services

4 months ago

The National Deaf Children’s Society has insisted it remains “committed as ever to delivering the best for deaf children and young people throughout their journey”, despite shuttering multiple resources and services concerning school age deaf children and teenagers.

It comes as the charity announced this week that its Healthy Minds training programme, peer-to-peer mentoring service and Young People’s Advisory Board (YAB) would be transferred to the deaf health charity, SignHealth.

In 2023, NDCS closed down ‘The Buzz’ – which it branded “the only website for deaf young people aged 8 to 18 in the UK” – and ended its ‘Deaf Works Everywhere’ campaign aiming to “get more deaf young people into work”.

Susan Daniels OBE, NDCS’ chief executive, said: “We know how vital these programmes are to support the wellbeing and confidence of deaf young people, so we’re delighted SignHealth will continue to deliver these services throughout the UK.

“We’ve handed over the materials we have developed for the programmes as well as our wealth of knowledge and experience so all our staff’s hard work and expertise can help SignHealth continue to support deaf young people.”

NDCS said the transfers took place to enable it to work on its new five-year strategy ‘Every Moment Counts’, focusing on early years support for deaf children announced earlier this month ahead of its launch in April.

A news release unveiling the strategy said NDCS would “review its services and campaigns” in order to deliver its strategy, including a plan “to scale down some of its more resource-intensive products and services, as it aims to reach more deaf children and young people than ever before”.

In a statement issued to to Liam O’Dell on Friday, NDCS’ Chief Strategy Officer Debbie Talbot said there is “compelling evidence” that the early years is where the charity “can make the biggest impact for deaf children by offering support as soon as possible after they find out they are deaf”.

She added: “But we’re still as committed as ever to delivering the best for deaf children and young people throughout their journey. We’re continuing to do this by offering a wealth of digital information and working more collaboratively with partners to ensure deaf children have everything they need.

“Our partnership with SignHealth is a great example of where we’re working with another like-minded organisation to strengthen delivery for deaf children. We’ll be looking to join forces with others in the future to grow, strengthen and develop services for deaf children in a way we simply could not do alone.”

The 2023-8 strategy includes four objectives, covering the delivery of “outstanding” early years support; “life-changing” information and advice; building communities that unite families; and being the “leading global authority on childhood deafness”.

Talbot continued: “Our strategy also emphasises the need for strong community delivery. This is something we’re driving forward to ensure that every deaf child has access to a supportive local community if they want and need it.

“We’re committed to making sure deaf young people get support that’s relevant to them and unique to the area they live in. This means we’ll be working closely with local groups, partners and professionals to bring deaf children and their families together to connect in person or online.

“We really want to involve young people in this, harnessing their power and experience to improve things for all deaf children and young people.”

SignHealth have confirmed they will launch new children and young people service from April.

James Watson-O’Neill, chief executive, said: “We are honoured to be given this valuable opportunity to continue, develop and further strengthen this outstanding work with deaf children and young people.

“SignHealth is looking forward to involving deaf children and young people in shaping these new services and thanks the National Deaf Children’s Society for its commitment and hard work in making this transfer possible.”…Read more by


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