DSN, a leading sensory loss organisation in the North West and North Wales turns 45 years this month.
The organisation was founded as the Cheshire Deaf Society on April 1, 1976 with a sole aim to support people with a hearing loss in living a fulfilling life at the point of need.
Gill Reeder, Operations Executive, who has been with the charity since its inception said she was ‘thrilled’ to be celebrating the milestone with the 75+ strong team.
“We are so proud of everything that Cheshire Deaf Society, now known as DSN, has achieved through the hardest year in its 45-year tenure with the impact of the pandemic on the us and of course the rest of the world,” said Gill. “We have so much planned and we really will be celebrating the whole year through!”
With a very small team, the organisation was created in a bid to help those who are Deaf, deaf and hard of hearing, but following years of service to the community, the organisation now encompasses support to those with visual impairments and other disabilities too.
Working with people from birth right through to end-of-life, the organisation, now with a strong team of highly trained experts, social care workers and support staff, works with Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Wrexham and Flintshire Councils and helps to support over 100,000 people across these areas.
DSN also supports people from 14 different local authorities as part of its Supported Living arm, which has four specialist supported living homes. Throughout the past and in particular throughout the pandemic, the team has shown its high expertise and dedication through a number of methods which has meant there were no cases of the virus in any of the homes.
As well as a very successful and well attended youth club, Youth Vibe and deaf clubs in Chester, Macclesfield and Northwich still proving very popular, it’s an ode to its consistency through the years.
Throughout its 45 years, DSN has been instrumental in creating better lines of communication and awareness in hospitals, GP surgeries, banks and even cafes, amongst many more.
With a focus on forward thinking, DSN has also funded its own research with the University of Manchester into the links between sensory loss and cognitive decline, which has been lauded worldwide.
Working with the likes of BBC Children in Need, the Army Covenant Fund and other partners, it has worked to create a network of specialised outreach projects to truly permeate the Deaf community in an effort to integrate it effectively.
With a range of activities, fundraisers and notices planned for the coming year, Gill said it was a great time to be celebrating.
Michelle Simpson, Executive added: “The Deaf Community has been amongst the hardest hit by the restrictions laid out by the government, as meeting and signing to each other is so physical and visual. We have managed to support them throughout, but this year feels extra special to be hosting events when we can and making the most of our birthday - we can’t wait!"
For more information about DSN go to www.dsnonline.co.uk or to show your support for our work locally, Text DSN to 70085 to donate £3.00 (Texts cost £3, plus one standard rate message).