Community support group set up by Wiltshire Council tenant

A Wiltshire Council housing tenant has started a deaf community support group with assistance from council Housings Resident Engagement Officers.

Published 13 July 2022
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A Wiltshire Council housing tenant has started a deaf community support group with assistance from council Housings Resident Engagement Officers.

Jenny Carswell, who lives in Westfields Sheltered Housing in Zeals, has been given access to use the facilities communal residents' lounge to create a deaf support group for the local community.

The group, 'Welcome to our World', offers support and advice for people who have either been deaf from birth or have suffered gradual hearing loss. The main aim of the group is to have fun whilst increasing confidence to maintain independence whilst out in the community. It is hoped that they will also be able to offer sign language and lip-reading lessons.

Cllr Phil Alford, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Housing, said, We are delighted to help Jenny set up this great community asset, and for her to use our communal space in such a positive way.

Hearing loss affects up to 12 million people in the UK, this new group will be of great benefit to those in Zeals and the surrounding area to find local support and others nearby who could be dealing with similar issues.

Our housings resident engagement officers are always looking to work together with residents so together they can create better homes, better neighbourhoods, and better lives. We want to empower residents to share their ideas for improvement to our services and for the local community.

Jenny, said: I am over the moon that the council are allowing me to use the communal lounge for the new deaf support group.

Being deaf from birth, I realise that there is a great deal of support for those who have been deaf from birth, but not for those who suffer hearing loss after birth. Realising that a number of people miss out on this support led my friend and I to set up a support group.

Our new group is seven strong so far, but now that we have a new venue for the meeting, we are hoping that the number will grow.

Two of Wiltshire Council's missions in its Business Plan is for Wiltshire to be a place where people have the right housing and live in vibrant well-connected communities.

People looking for more information on the 'Welcome to our World' support group can contact Nicky Waltham-Weeks on 07535 883678.

Anyone wishing to get more involved in the community, find volunteering opportunities or help the council improve the services that it offers can contact the Housing Resident Engagement team on 0300 456 0117 option 5 or email at Tenantparticipation@wiltshire.gov.uk.

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Published 13 July 2022