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Dorset Deaf Children's Society has twelve trustees including two youth trustees and we also have a youth volunteer. They all work as volunteers and give up their spare time to run the charity and organise events.


Find out who our trustees are and put faces to names!

Kevin Forbes


01202 769890

07803 957675


Strategic Solutions 

1-3 Alum Chine Road




I have two children Jodie & Madeline and two world famous performing dogs, Hazel & Bramble! Jodie has normal hearing but at the age of six Madeline suddenly became profoundly deaf in one ear and moderately deaf in her other. This was naturally an extremely difficult time for the whole family and would have been much harder without the support from family and friends and of course the DDCS, so I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to repay that support and hopefully help other families. I am a partner in a firm of financial advisers, Strategic Solutions and we have been donating to DDCS for several years now, because it is a fantastic charity and because all the money raised went straight to the benefit of those who needed it. I am absolutely honoured to take on the role as Chairman of the Dorset Deaf Children’s Society.

Shirley Sorbie MBE

Vice Chairperson,

Treasurer and
Membership Secretary

 01202 571089
07765 304968



9 Oakland Walk,

West Parley, Ferndown, Dorset, BH22 8PF

I have three children Kelly, Tom and Jamie, both the boys and my husband, Charlie, have a hearing loss. I have been involved with the DDCS since 1992 when Tom was diagnosed at the age of 3 and I joined the trustees as I wanted to give something back for the support and help we had received. I went on to take on the roles of Treasurer, Membership Secretary and Vice Chairperson and various other jobs.

I also represent DDCS and parents as a member of the Children’s Hearing Services Working Group. I am now retired from my work as a PA/Administrator but DDCS is still keeping me very busy! In my spare time I am a bit of a football and cricket fan and I love to read and do puzzles.

I love being involved with DDCS, meeting parents and the wonderful children and helping where I can. I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved.

I was completely surprised and overwhelmed to be honoured by the Queen with an MBE in 2019 for all the voluntary work I have done for deaf children and what I have achieved, it was such and honour! You can read all about this on our 'Stories and Experiences' page. All the wonderful messages and cards from families and professionals was very humbling and is very special to me.  My investiture in January 2020 with Prince William is a day I will never forget!

I am still working hard for all our members and you will still see me running around with my clipboard organising the events or with a silly hat on at the Christmas party!

Julie Hansford Pic.JPG




07973 737687


34 Fernside Avenue


Dorset, BH14 0PN

I am a Mum of one teenage daughter, Yazz who has been hearing impaired since birth.  We live in Poole with my partner Ian and our ginger cat, Tango.  We are keen AFCB fans and work there at home matches as well as avidly supporting the team.

I volunteer helping to run a food charity, Winton and Parkstone Community Pantry, and Ian and I volunteer for The Royal British Legion, Broadstone as the Poppy Appeal Organisers.

The first DDCS event that we attended was the Christmas party in 2013 when Yazz was 6 years old.  Since then we have enjoyed numerous other DDCS events over the years and have made lots of friends.  It has been a great support to someone like me with no previous experience of hearing impairment.

I am delighted to now be a Trustee of the DDCS and to have the opportunity to give a little back to a charity so close to my heart which has helped us so much.

Katie Bray

Safeguarding  Officer

 07805 863653

My name is Katie. I became a DDCS trustee in 2012. I live in Christchurch and work as a Dental Practice Manager. I am married to Martin (Martin often takes on the role of DDCS photographer for events). We have 2 teenage children, Alfie and Owen. Owen was diagnosed with a profound hearing loss in both ears at 5 weeks old. He wore hearing aids for a year and was later implanted with bilateral cochlear implants shortly after his 1st birthday. Owens hearing loss is genetic (connexin 26 gene). With no history of hearing loss on either side of the family this news came as a shock. The support we have recieved from DDCS has been wonderful. From my first contact with Shirley on the day of diagnosis to the countless events we have attended over the years. I can not thank the charity enough! I am so grateful to the families we have met and bonded with. And all the trustees that work so hard to make this charity what it is, especially Shirley, what an absolute star she is! I am honoured to be a part of this fantastic charity supporting deaf children and their families. 

Jo Ridout


I live with my husband, Martin, and two children, Emily and Jack on our family dairy farm near Hooke. Our daughter was born profoundly deaf and communicated using sign language until she had her cochlear implant, when she was 3 years old. I work at Kingston Maurward College as a signing teaching assistant, supporting deaf children on a 1:1 basis in all aspects of their learning. It is a very rewarding job, which makes excellent use of both my signing and teaching qualifications. As a family we have benefited greatly from being members of DDCS and being a committee member gives me the opportunity to give something back.

Krystian Daraszkiewicz


My name is Krystian Daraszkiewicz, I am married to Joanna and we have two children Oliver and Liliana. We are originally a family from Poland but last few years we change our home for Bournemouth. 

I am a chef with years of experience in Poland and now work in the UK. I love baking and desserts.

Our children were born in England. Liliana is our second child and she was born profoundly deaf and now she has bilateral cochlear implants. In the first days after Lili was diagnosed we met Shirley from DDCS. These were difficult times for us without family and support here and Shirley and DDCS were very helpful.

At events organized by the DDCS we had the opportunity to talk with other parents who understand our problems. Joining up with the DDCS for me was something natural and obvious. I joined the committee in 2013 and hope now is the time I can somehow help other families.

Judith Morris


I live in Poole and I have two children, Megan and Harry, who are both hearing impaired and wear hearing aids. Their father is profoundly deaf as a result of Meningitis when he was 9 months old and he communicates with sign language and I am also hearing impaired and wear hearing aids. My family including my Mum, two Sisters, Nana and Aunty are also hearing impaired.  We joined Dorset Deaf Children’s Society when Megan was a baby in 2005 and I decided to become a Trustee so I can help and support other families. I would like to thank Shirley and DDCS members for all your support over the years and for really understanding what we were going through and I have made a lot of great friends!

Pat Saunders.jpg

Pat Saunders


My name is Pat and I live in Poole and I am Mum to two grown up children, Carly and Leigh and Nana to Isabella and Elizabeth. I have just retired after working for the Hearing Support Service for the last twenty six years as a specialist teaching assistant. I am a B.S.L Level 2 signer and supported children from primary age up to the Senior Schools. My interests are swimming, gardening, reading and my favourite is playing with my grandchildren. I decided to become a Trustee for the Dorset Deaf Children Society so I could continue helping and supporting children and their families.

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 Katie Allan


Hello my name is Katie I moved to Weymouth in 2023 to join my husband shortly after having our son. Growing up in Surrey my parents would respite care for families with children with complex needs and 1 of the families had a son who used sign language. I was very inquisitive and eager to chat with him and despite being dyslexic I picked up the language very quickly. When I reached level 3 I started volunteering at a specialist deaf unit in a mainstream school setting to practise and polish up on my signing and receptive skills and within a few weeks had been given a  full time post. I ve worked with Deaf children ages 3-11 for over 10 years and now respite care for families with complex needs too! My son though only a baby is learning to sign too so he will be able to communicate with the children I care for. 

Juliet Vinney Pic.JPG




Hello! I’m Juliet and I have three children, Rosie Elin and Bess. We live in Dorchester. Bess is profoundly deaf, with a type of deafness called Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder. She was identified deaf at birth after being born premature at 28 weeks, and received cochlear implants at age two after not gaining any hearing through hearing aids. She is now thriving at school and has lots of friends! Elin is Bess’s twin and is hearing, as is their older sister Rosie. We moved from Bristol in 2021 where I set up Bristol Deaf Children’s Society because I found it so helpful meeting other families with deaf children when my children were little. I also helped set up a NDCS peer support scheme there that gave every new parent of a deaf child the opportunity to talk to another parent. Hence I wanted to be involved in Dorset too! I volunteer regularly for the media and campaigns team at the National Deaf Children’s Society and also represent parents’ views on the Dorset CHSWG (Children’s Hearing Services Working Group) if you would like anything raising. I am a parent governor at our local middle school too. I enjoy being part of DDCS because I love bringing families together, and helping and signposting to advice and support services where I can. Our deaf children are all amazing!

Madeline Forbes 2.JPG




My name is Madeline, I live in Bournemouth with my sister and our four dogs! I have a moderate to severe hearing loss, and have worn hearing aids since I was four years old. I wear one normal hearing aid and a bicross, which is a piece of super cool technology! I am a huge believer in the importance of deaf clubs and societies, with my university History dissertation being a study of Deaf Clubs in British History, which was inspired by DDCS. As a child, I went to many DDCS events and camps, and will always treasure the memories and friends they bought me, it was a significant part of my childhood. It is a privilege to now be able to pay it forward for the new young deaf generation and I love seeing the joy DDCS can bring families. 

Yazz  Hansford.JPG



Youth Volunteer

Hey, I’m Yazz. I’m 16 and currently a youth volunteer at DDCS until I can hopefully become a trustee when I’m old enough! I am moderately deaf and wear bilateral hearing aids. I’m currently studying my GCSE’s of Geography, PE, Food tech, Business Studies and Further Maths alongside the core subjects: maths, english & triple science and I hope to move onto A-levels next! I don’t have a plan of what career I want to go into in the future however I know I want to do some travelling around the world, experience many different cultures and complete some bucket list adventures! When I settle I would like to get a job that has a huge impact on the people around me. I currently participate in Youth Forum where I get to have a say as a young person on many different projects both locally and nationally and I also work at Participation People as a young consultant where I essentially youth proof companies so that they are able to work more effectively with young people who are at different walks of life and as a deaf person myself, I regularly implement my experience into whatever I’m working on currently and raising awareness when and where I can!  As well as actively participating in youth led projects I like to enjoy quality time with my friends and my cat Tango, watch sunsets & go to the beach! I’m looking forward to giving back to DDCS, a lovely charity who have done so much for me and I look forward to meeting everyone at future events!

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