Scroll down for:

  • Forthcoming Events

  • Newsletters

  • Just Giving 

  • Alex races to the finish line

  • Good Luck Rose & Giovanni!

  • The Buzz - NDCS Youth Website

  • DDCS Facebook

  • DDCS Picture Website

  • National Deaf Children's Society

  • 50th Anniversary Celebration Fun Day

  • Dorset Parent Carer Council

  • Parent Support Group Dates

  • Emergency SMS text

  • DDCS Grants

  • BH Coastal Lottery

  • Do you shop at Amazon?

  • Scarlett Joins NDCS YAB

  • HSS Update

  • DDCS T-Shirts

  • Merlin's Magic Wand

  • Voluntears Info

  • 'Sign for Change' Junior Sign Choir

  • Personal music leads

  • Pre-school parent support groups

  • Sign Language Resource Information

  • Sign Language Courses

  • Little Signers books

  • Visit to AFC Bournemouth

  • Cherries hearing aids

  • Local offers

  • NDCS Children's & Families Support Offier

  • RAD advocacy service 

  • 25 year anniversary of the first CI

  • Inspired by Owen - by Katie Bray

  • Julia Donaldson's - Freddie and the Fairy

  • Keep your DDCS membership up to date

  • On the Radio

  • Discount Cards

  • Cinema subtitles

  • DDCS SALT campaign success

Forthcoming Events:

Sunday 13th February – Jumpin Fun

Saturday 26th March - Family & Teen Bowling

Sunday 8th May – Farmer Palmers

Sunday 19th June - Family Fun Day & Hog Roast

Saturday 15th October - AGM & JBDCA Awards

Saturday 22nd October – Harry Potter Studios

Saturday 3rd December - Christmas Party


See our newsletters for more information and details on how to book!

Click to view our
latest newsletter:

To read the latest edition of our news flyer with details

of upcoming events please use the link below:


 Virgin Money Giving closed down so we have now registered with Just Giving for fund raising and donations.

You can still donate directly to us or send us a cheque but if you would like to fund raise for us with a sponsored event this is the best way to organise donations. All you need to do is go on our Just Giving page and set up your own Fundraising page and the sponsorship comes direct to us and they claim gift aid for us too! 

You can also make single donations.


The Dorset Deaf Children’s Society has been an amazing source of support and fun for Alex and his family. So to say thank you Alex wanted to fundraise for the charity by running 1km in the Bournemouth Marathon Festival in October 2021. He managed to persuade his big sister to do the 1.5km and his Mummy and Godmother to run the 5km.

In 2019 Alex and his sister raised £361 by running the 1km, but this time they wanted to raise even more. With a lot of support from their family, friends and school community they managed to raise an amazing £1,150.56p! 

Good Luck
Rose & Giovanni!

Congratulations to Rose and Giovanni for reaching the BBC Strictly Come Dancing Final 2021!

We are so excited to watch and we will be cheering them on. 

Rose is an inspiration for us all and we are so proud of her for raising awareness for deaf people and showing us all that you can achieve anything despite having

a hearing loss. 

We are all right behind them and we hope they get that Glitterball that they both deserve!!

This is our message we sent to them

What is the Buzz?

It’s the only website for deaf young people aged 8 to 18 in the UK. This safe, online space, created by deaf young people, is entirely theirs. They can read inspiring stories, connect with other deaf young people, find the latest information and support, sign up to events, ask questions and get involved.
Explore the Buzz now!

For advice and answers to your questions, email NDCS at 
(monitored 9 to 5pm weekdays).

If you’re 18+, check out the great websites for information on college, work, mental health, money and more!



DDCS has two Facebook groups one is for general information which anyone on Facebook can access and one is a closed group, only for members. The second group is closed so that parents can keep in touch with each other, ask for advice or get information.


If you would like to join the groups they are easy to find just type “Dorset Deaf Children’s Society” into your search bar. 

National Deaf Children's Society

The NDCS can provide advice and support for deaf children and families on a range of issues including benefits, education, technology, health, social care, discrimination and communication.

Their contact details are:

Telephone: 0808 800 8880


DDCS Picture Website

Dorset DCS has a website for members to access the many photographs taken at DDCS events. 

If you would like to see, download and print pictures of your family please email and you will be sent instructions and the link for you to access the pictures.

50th Anniversary
Celebration Fun Day

The charity may have changed over the years - from a regional NDCS group to an independent charity and there have been ups and downs but we can safely say that Dorset DCS is now a thriving successful charity. The Trustees have worked hard to fulfil its aims in supporting hearing impaired children and their families in Dorset, by giving their free time as volunteers to ensure its success. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all trustees, past and present, for their time and commitment.  

We haven’t just survived though – we have thrived, and Shirley Sorbie, our long standing trustee and the heart of our charity, was once asked to speak (at what was then the NDCS National Council) about the success of Dorset DCS - a very proud moment for the charity. We have also been very fortunate to have a good relationship with Hearing Support Service and Audiology and have been able to work together to help our children. We thank them for their support in what we do. The charity goes from strength to strength and we consider ourselves so lucky to have such wonderful children and families as members.

To mark this special year we celebrated with our 50th Anniversary Family Fun Day Party at The Orangery in Wimborne with its three acres of leisure garden. The day was attended not only by our current children and families but also by past members, teachers, audiologists and the children who are now grownups and some who now have children of their own! 

What a day we had with 260 adults and children attending with plenty for everyone to enjoy including inflatables, mini golf, giant chess, table tennis, table football, basketball, beach volleyball, petanque, football, glitter tattoos, children’s entertainer and more.  For this occasion we even hired a photo booth. Everyone had a lot of fun trying on and swapping the props for the pictures! We also had a sweet cart with free sweets for all the children (and some adults) and of course we had our usual favourites, the Hog Roast BBQ and Ice Creams.

We also had a visit from Deb Fullbrook and he amazing hearing dog, Elmo from Hearing Dogs for the Deaf. She talked about the charity and gave a brilliant demonstration of how Elmo helps her. We finished the day but cutting the cake and a speech from Robin Barrett, retired Educational Audiologist.

We recieved so many messages saying how much everyone enjoyed the day and how special it was to meet up with old friends and celebrate the anniversary. The trustees are volunteers who give up their time freely to make these events happen, but it is so worthwhile to see everyone enjoying themselves so much! Please keep feeding back and letting us know if you are enjoying the events, it makes things even more worthwhile for our brilliant volunteers and also lets us know if we are on the right track.

Here's to the next 50 years! 

Free Badges!

Lip Reading Badges.JPG

The Dorset Deaf Children’s Society is sponsoring a project for pupils who would like a “I can’t lip read through your mask” pin badge.  The pin badges are available in nine different colours and are 38mm in size.  If you would like to order one for your son or daughter please contact your Advisory Teacher who will be pleased to help. If you prefer, you can send an email making a request:

Hearing Support Service Update

At the end of the summer term we said a fond farewell to Sue MacDermott who has retired after an amazing 23 years working for Dorset Hearing Support Service.

Sue has worked with countless babies, young children and students over the years and has a passion for equality and inclusion for deaf pupils.

She held a Senior Teacher role for many years and was the sign language co-ordinator before taking on the role of Principal Advisory Teacher 6 years ago.

Since then Sue has guided the Hearing Support Service team through many changes and initiatives and her hard work was recognised with a Dorset Employee Award.

All the Trustees and families would like to thank Sue for all the help and guidance she has given over the years.


We wish Sue all the best for her retirement!

Welcome to Teresa McCabe who joined the Hearing Support Service this September. She is a qualified Teacher of the Deaf with 10 years primary teaching background. She gained valuable experience in Early Years Foundation Stage, KS1 and KS2 and various SEND settings and also teaching experience at the Elizabeth Foundation in Portsmouth.

Do you feel lucky?

Support DDCS by buying a lottery ticket from BH Coastal Lottery.

If you buy a £1 ticket 50p goes directly to DDCS!


There is a one in fifty chance of winning each week

(that's better odds than the National Lottery and People's Lottery)

and the top prise is £25,000!

If you would like to support us just log on to their website and select buy tickets and select Dorset Deaf Children's Society

we-have-launched-on-bh-coastal-lottery -
Do you shop on

You can help raise funds for Dorset DCS. If you and your friends shop on Amazon all you have to do is log into Smile Amazon select your charity (only have to do this once) and shop as normal and Amazon will donate to Dorset Deaf Children’s Society!


Please see the instructions on the right, it is really easy and the key is to make sure you are logged into Smile Amazon every time you shop. Just look for the Smile Amazon logo at the top left hand corner of your screen to double check.


Please share this with everyone you know and ask them to share it with their friends. This could be really great for DDCS!





DDCS has funds available for grants and will consider contributing towards our member’s costs or partial costs for deaf related equipment, activities or learning.


We have in the past contributed towards signing classes and provided literature to support signing. We have also provided specialist alarm clocks for children to become more independent at getting up in the morning!  


We may also be able to offer grants in certain circumstances for financial support with a deaf related project. Please contact us in writing or by emailing


Each case is considered on its individual merits.



My name is Scarlett Henry and I recently got a place on the Youth Advisory Board for the NDCS. I had to go for an interview in London which I was super nervous about, considering that there was a whopping 80 applicants across the UK!

When I arrived on the day, we talked about how we wanted to improve/change something for deaf young people in our local area or in the country as a whole. Then we spoke about politics to become familiar with the fact that we were going to send postcards to our local MPs, to shine a light on ways to help the deaf community.

Consequently I am very pleased with the opportunity I now have to represent young deaf people in my area and I am looking forward to being a YAB ambassador for the next 2 years!

DDCS T-SHIRTS available to buy!

 Adults T-Shirts - £13  Children's T-Shirts - £8

If you would like to purchase T-shirts just print the booking form from the link below or contact Shirley on 01202 571089


Pre-school Parent

Support Group

The Hearing Support Service hosts a monthly support group for parents, babies and toddlers. This group has been running for many years and is held on alternate months at Longfleet Baptist Church, 138 Wimborne Road, Poole, BH15 2E and Blandford Children’s Centre, Black Lane, Blandford Forum, DT11 8SW. Dates below. There is parking available at the church and the bus station is 10 minutes walk away. From 


It is a great opportunity for parents to meet other parents with babies and toddlers, share experiences and talk to someone who is in the same or similar position as themselves. The group has provided invaluable support for families over the years and Shirley Sorbie, DDCS Trustee, remembers bringing her son to the group, the friends she made and how it helped to talk to other parents. Her son, Tom, is now 32 years old and is still very good friends with Lloyd whom he met and played with at the group all those years ago!

Parents from across Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset attend and there are activities, toys and refreshments for the toddlers.  Advisory Teachers are on hand to entertain the children and give parents the opportunity to relax and chat over a cup of tea. Brothers and sisters are welcome.


In previous years they have also run a similar group in the west of the county, in Weymouth. They would be happy to look into doing so again so if any families in the area are interested please let your Advisory Teacher know.


Please contact Sarah Stobbart on 07824 529461

or Sarah Poole on 07393 147291 for more information

Junior sign choir info.png


The DDCS will provide appropriate leads for

any deaf or hearing-impaired child in Dorset.

The leads enable sound to go straight to the hearing aids via the special shoe attached to the hearing aids

If you would like your child to have one please ask your Teacher of the Deaf or contact any of the DDCS trustees.




Dorset DCS has put together a booklet of on-line resources to support sign language development. It contains a list of websites which feature sign language, video clips and information and contains five sections from beginners to intermediate and advanced. 

If you would like to access this information please click on the link below:


Thank you to Ursula Murley who spent many hours collecting and producing the information for DDCS!




If you need any help or advice especially with DLA claims you can talk to our NDCS Children's and Families Support Officer Debbie Ravensdale.

Her contact details are:

Direct line: 01489 892046

Mobile: 07816482136


NDCS Helpline : 0808 800  8880

Little Signers Club


What a fantastic afternoon our children had at the Vitality Stadium at AFC Bournemouth!


The children and parents were first of all taken on a tour of the stadium including the changing rooms, treatment room, press rooms and then a walk up the tunnel and on to the pitch. They then got and amazing surprise…… a chance to meet AFC Bournemouth player Nathan Ake. They were able to ask questions and take pictures and he signed individual photos for each of them all including one for Shirley!


Then the children had some coaching on the training pitches followed by a game. The children also bumped into Callum Wilson as he was entering the stadium and he very kindly signed autographs and had pictures taken with the children. All in all it was a very exciting day and was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. To view all the pictures from our visit, please visit our events page here.


Cherries fan Alfie Gibbs recently became the first person to be fitted with hearing aids branded with his club’s crest and colours.

The ten-year-old’s new kit came after a novel idea from the audiology team at Dorset HealthCare, with support from the club and London-based hearing aid manufacturer Starkey.

Alfie also plays for the Ability Counts football team which forms part of the wider AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trusts, Premier League and BT Disability Programme.

The young fan was also one of the first Cherries to wear the new Umbro home kit over the summer, when he represented the club at the Festival of Sport.

Alfie lives in Wallisdown with his mum Charlene, who said: "Since the age of four, we have really struggled to get Alfie to wear his hearing aids as he often got embarrassed - to the point where we both turned to learning British sign language to help him communicate better.

"But we have seen a real transformation in Alfie since he got these branded hearing aids and it is such a simple idea. He is more confident, and his communication is improving significantly by the day. He never takes them out and is always showing friends and family."

Alfie was even more thrilled after the club invited him to meet some of his heroes as the Cherries fan got to show off the unique hearing aids to Cherries players Callum Wilson and Dan Gosling at Vitality Stadium.

To read the full article, please visit the AFC Bournemouth website here.

                    FREDDIE AND THE FAIRY

                                                          For families with younger children this book has a charming story.

                                                          Freddie found a fairy, tangled in a tree…..

                                                          Freddie is desperate for a pet, so when he rescues Bessie-Belle and she offers to grant his

                                                          wishes he knows just what to ask for.  The only problem is that Bessie-Belle can’t hear

                                                          very well, and Freddie tends to mumble. Whatever can they do?  

                                                          Luckily the Fairy Queen is on hand to explain…..

                                                          A delightful tale full of Julia Donaldson’s’ (author of The Gruffalo) trademark rhyme and

                                                          wit, with a subtle message about hearing impairments.

                                                                            You can find this book on Amazon for a very good price!


If you are a member please let us know if there are any changes to your circumstances. If you change your name, telephone number, email address or you have moved and not told us we will still be sending a newsletter to your old address and this costs us money.  Also please let us know if you now wish to be removed from our membership or if you have a child who had a conductive hearing loss and it has improved and they no longer wear hearing aids.  If you still wish to remain a member as a supporter please let us know.

We cannot change your membership details without

you telling us!

If you would like to receive your ‘Let’s Hear It Briefly’ newsletters by email, email us at  


Please click on the links below to view the Local Offer for your area. Here you will find information on the the support available to children and young people 0-25 years with SEN and disabilities.






Inspired by Owen
By Katie Bray

I feel you wriggle inside of me
I sing to you, as you hear me.

You are here in our world, curled up in my arms,
I sing to you hear me?

You are tiny, 5 weeks, and the diagnosis final,
I sing to you, but you don't hear me!

My world falls apart for an hour or two
I sing to you, and you see me.

You are growing fast into your own
I sing to you, and you smile at me. 

You are going for surgery at 1 year old
I sing to you, but you don't hear me.

You have bionic ears and a cheeky face
I sing to you, and you turn to me. 

You are a toddler with an infectious smile 
I sing to you, and you clap at me.

You are determined, inspirational, a wonderful boy,
I sing to you, and you sing with me.



In December 2015 it was 25 years since the very first individual received a cochlear implant at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research. Since then the service has grown and developed, first as the South of England Cochlear Implant Centre then later as the University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service, reflecting the provision of new types of auditory implant devices and hearing services in addition to cochlear implantation.


During the last 25 years, they have continued to innovate and develop, providing a range of clinical services to support the needs of hearing impaired adults and children and working with colleagues to undertake research, education and development in new technologies and rehabilitative methods to enable those with hearing impairment to flourish and participate fully in all areas of daily life.

As well as being their 25th anniversary, 2015 was also the year that the 1000th patient received a cochlear implant from their service.


Just before Christmas 2015 DDCS was approached by Steve Harris of BBC Radio Solent to ask if a parent would be prepared to be interviewed about their experience with cochlear implants. This resulted in Shirley Sorbie, Trustee of DDCS and Michael Calverley, father of Olivia and Jacob, being interviewed on Friday 18th December by Steve on Breakfast in Dorset on Radio Solent. To listen to the interview log on to the DDCS website and you will find it on the News & Information page

Bournemouth Evening Echo

April 20th 1993


In 1993 Katie Ballard was the first British child born deaf to receive a Cochlear Implant. At the time the operation made front page news and the family also appeared on national television. Katie grew up in Wimborne and has since been travelling the world. Read about Katie on the Stories and Experiences page.

On the Radio

In December 2015 it was 25 years since the first Cochlear Implant operation.


Steve Harris from Radio Solent asked father of Olivia and Jacob, Michael Calverley, and Shirley Sorbie from Dorset DCS on to his radio show. Have a listen below:


Radio Solent interview -



We realise that many of our members would like to enjoy family days out and we have several local cinemas that can offer a range of subtitled films.

Click on the following link to access the Your Local Cinema website: 

First click on the "subtitled cinema" icon, then click the "The cinemas" icon and search by your town to find the nearest subtitled films to you.If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you have the option to enter your email address and town to get regular emails with local screenings.

Please make sure you double check with your local cinema before travelling as schedules are subject to change.

Some cinemas have a good range of films and times, some have a more limited range. There is an option on the page to leave positive or negative feedback with your local cinema. Please use this option as we need to tell the cinemas what we want.


Did you know that your deaf child is entitled to  some useful discount cards that give the child, or the carer, or both discounts on -  cinema admissions - rail travel - bus travel.


The card entitles a carer to free entry when they accompany the deaf child. The carer can be family or friend and the card is issued to the deaf child so a different person could accompany your child on each occasion.

If you have more than one deaf child they can each get a card and each can have a free carer accompany them.

To apply for the card, which costs £5.50 per person and is valid for 12 months, go to the following website or click on this link The website also has a useful Q & A page to answer your queries. 

To qualify for the card you will need to send a passport size photo of your deaf child and a photocopy of their entitlement letter for disability living or attendance allowance. Send this with your £5.50 cheque and the application form which you can print from their website and you should receive your card within 3 weeks.

The card is accepted by all the major cinema chains including these local cinemas -

Empire - Tower Park, Poole.

Odeon - Westover Road, Bournemouth and New Canal, Salisbury.

Cineworld - New Bond St, Weymouth and Old Station Way, Yeovil.

Please note it is not valid in some of the smaller independant local cinemas but the website has a very useful postcode search facility which tells you which of your local cinemas will accept the card (Bridport and Dorchester cinemas will accept it and so will Wells cinema).

The Dorset Deaf Childrens Society is happy to recommend this card to its members - several of our members have the cards and find them a good cost effective way to enjoy a family day out at the pictures.

The DDCS is currently involved in lobbying the major cinema chains in an attempt to get more subtitled films shown at times that suit our members - this is an ongoing process and we will keep you updated with our progress as we achieve any.

Don't forget that loop systems are available at the major cinemas for deaf and hard of hearing people wearing hearing aids or cochlear implant processors. These are of great benefit to the deaf - ask at the cinema reception or ticket booth for a loop and ask them to make sure the loop is switched on and working. For more information on what a loop system is and how it works click on this link -  and enter LOOP SYSTEMS as a search in the top right hand corner search box.



This card is available to all deaf children. It offers a discount off the adult rail fare for rail travel within the UK. Although it is probably cheaper to buy a child ticket anyway, the advantage comes in the fact that an accompanying carer travelling with the child gets a third of the price off as well. The card costs £14 and is valid for one year so you need to be making regular use of it or doing a longish journey to make this worthwhile. To read more or apply go to -



Profoundly or severely deaf children can TRAVEL FOR FREE on buses within Dorset (and on journeys that finish outside Dorset but start from within Dorset). 

East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck and West Dorset Councils are all grouping together for this. You will need to apply for a travel card from either the West Dorset or East Dorset Council and send proof of disability and a passport style photo with their application form.

More details are available on the councils Dorset For You website and you can download the form and print it out in PDF format or get one from your council offices or click this link to go to their website  -




In May 2010 Dorset DCS sent out a questionnaire to gather information from parents and carers about their experience of the speech and language therapy support their children were receiving. This arose because for a long time parents had expressed concerns about the level of support so Dorset DCS felt that the only way to measure this was to gather parent’s views. When we had received the replies we put together a report summarising the results and sent them to the Speech and Language Therapy Service in July 2010. Click on the link below to read the report.


Initially there was no reply but we continued to raise the issue at the Children Hearing Services Working Group meetings. Subsequent letters with copies of the questionnaire results were sent to NHS Commissioners and again there was no response.

At the time the service had one specialist SALT who had 7 hours a week for all the hearing impaired children in the whole of Dorset and this included all her admin and travel time. This was clearly not enough. 

In August 2011 after still receiving no response Dorset DCS stepped up the campaign and wrote to all eight of the Dorset MP’s, Councils, NHS Commissioners and Services for Children. Seven of the eight Dorset MP’s were very supportive of the campaign and wrote to commissioners. There has been a considerable amount of change within the NHS and in September 2011 we finally had a response which informed us that there was a review of the service taking place and a commitment to meet with parents. 

On 31st October 2011, Dorset DCS organised a meeting in Wimborne and Fiona Haughey, Deputy Chief Operating Officer for Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust, came along with Eunice Gibson and Lesley Grey, SALT Managers, to meet parents. The meeting was well attended and it is fair to say that it was a full and frank meeting in which parents were able to have their say about their worries and concerns, so much so that they didn’t finish their presentation as the discussions took priority. The parent’s concerns were listened to with compassion and a promise was made to review the current service and they would return to report back to parents in April/May 2012. Parents were also able to have one to one talks with Fiona and her colleagues to discuss their worries.

After this meeting a decision was made to increase the specialist SALT hours from one day a week to three and this commenced on 28th November 2011. This was fantastic news but it was only a short term increase until 31st March 2012.

Dorset DCS continued raising awareness of this issue with letters and meetings with Councillors and MP’s. What was wonderful is that by January 2012 parents were seeing an improvement and children were at last getting the support they need, but we were concerned that the extra hours may not be maintained long term.

On May 3rd 2012 Dorset DCS organised another meeting in Wimborne for Fiona Haughey and her colleagues to meet with parents. She reported that the review clearly showed that there was insufficient capacity to manage referrals and there are now two more therapists trained to specialise with hearing impaired children. They have one day each (one in the East and one in the West) and the current specialist SALT hours are now 15 hours a week. This means that there are now 30 hours of support a week for our children and it was confirmed that this would not change. The Service had funded these improvements by internal changes but still had a business case submitted for more funding and Fiona agreed to let us know the outcome. 

The SALT service will now also have a section in the parent’s questionnaire that is sent out bi-annually from the Hearing Support Service which means that parents and carers are now able to raise any concerns and the service will get the feedback. The pathway for referrals has also been updated and they are producing a new information leaflet. The specialist therapist will also now give all the families she is working with her mobile phone number so that she can be contacted direct. 

We are pleased to tell you that we have now been informed of the outcome of the business case and it is brilliant news! The case was successful and has been fully supported by commissioners and the service has received an additional investment of £244,000!! This will be invested in areas related to children with special needs including hearing impaired children.

At a time when the NHS is being drastically cut and there are major changes happening, to have been successful with this campaign is amazing! We must thank Fiona Haughey and her team for being so understanding and taking on board all the concerns raised and thank them and the commissioners for the improvements that have been made. 


The most important thing in all of this is the children and we are incredibly proud that we have been 
able to make a difference!

Just shows what you can do with a bit of determination, hard work and perseverance!