top of page


Scroll down for:

  • Forthcoming Events

  • Newsletters

  • NDCS Online Sessions for Families

  • DDCS Youth WhatsApp Group

  • Welcome Back Sam Bealing

  • Volunteer to be a DDCS Trustee

  • Meet Yazz our Youth Volunteer

  • HSS Pre-school Parent Support Group Dates

  • Discounted 1-1 Swimming Lessons

  • Emergency SMS text

  • KindLink online donations

  • HSS Update

  • DDCS Grants

  • Healthy Minds

  • The Buzz - NDCS Youth Website

  • DDCS Facebook

  • National Deaf Children's Society

  • DDCS T-shirts

  • Pre-school Parent Support Group

  • Pre-school Parent Support Group Dates

  • Cochlear Implanted Children's Support Group

  • Dorset Parent Carer Council

  • Free Badges

  • My Time young carers

  • Sally and Elisabeths Retirement


  • Voluntears Info

  • 'Sign for Change' Junior Sign Choir

  • Personal Music Leads

  • Merlin's Magic Wand

  • Sign Language Resource Information

  • Sign Language Courses

  • Little Signers books

  • NDCS Advice & Guidance Officer

  • RAD advisory service

  • BH Coastal Lottery

  • DDCS is 50 years old

  • 50th Anniversary Celebrations Fun Day

  • Scarlett Joins YAB

  • Good Luck Rose & Giovanni!

  • Visit to AFC Bournemouth

  • Cherries hearing aids

  • Julia Donaldson's - Freddie and the Fairy

  • Keep your DDCS membership up to date

  • Inspired by Owen by Katie Bray

  • Local offers

  • 25 year anniversary of the first CI

  • On the Radio

  • Cinema subtitles

  • Discount cards

  • DDCS SALT campaign success


Events for 2024


Sunday 25th February – Streetlight Cafe

Sunday 3rd March - Crazy Monsters 

Wednesday 10th April - Lush Factory visit

Sunday 21st April - Thorpe Park

Sunday 5th May - Nikki's Little Play Cafe 

Sunday 12th May - Farmer Palmers

Sunday 30th June - Family Fun Day & Hog Roast

Tuesday 23rd July - Fun at the Beach

Sunday 28th July - Streetlight Café 

Saturday 12th October - AGM & Jenny Barrett Awards

Saturday 30th November - 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:

Strategic Solutions Financial Services Grant

Catherine Enright


Nicki Paul – London Landmarks Half Marathon

The Entertainer, Bournemouth – Jack Gives back pennies

Caroline Watton

Tesco - Grant

Emilia Gray – Car washing

Lush - Factory tours

Richard George

LFB Meats Shop - Collection Box

Charles & Suzie Andrews

Axis Foundation

Patrick Blackmore – London Marathon

Darren Slade

Petra – non uniform day, Broadwindsor Primary School

Anna Reidy

Blue Pebble Finance Ltd

Dorset DCS wishes to thank all the individuals and organisations who have made donations, fundraised for us or provided something for us free of charge over the past year.

Without you we could not provide the support for

the children and their families!

Strategic Solutions Financial Services for posting all our newsletters and making regular donations.

Mauveworks for printing all our newsletters.

The Blandford School - Christmas Party Venue

Bournemouth Deaf Club – Venue for our AGM


Ideas for fund raising could be a sponsored event, car boot sale, cake sale, donations instead of gifts for a birthday or anniversary,

a collection box in a work place, raffle or a school mufti day.

Why not give it a go!

Welcome back Sam!

Hello, I’m Sam Bealing and I’ve just joined the Hearing Support Service – for the second time! As some of you may remember, I previously worked there as a Teacher of the Deaf from 2002 and then as Educational Audiologist from 2009. More recently I spent nearly 8 years working at the University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service with children and families who have cochlear implants, bone conduction aids and as part of the Auditory Processing Disorder team.

However, I decided that my time driving on the M27 had run its course, and it was time to return to sunny Dorset. Having started out almost 30 years ago as a primary school teacher, it’s great to be back where my journey in deaf education began, working with the wonderful team of dedicated teachers and technicians, and of course the fabulous DDCS. I hope to meet many of you soon, both new families and some I have known for a long time

Meet Yazz our Youth Volunteer

Hey! I’m Yazz, I’m 16 and currently in year 11 studying my GCSEs, English, maths, triple science, geography, sports studies, food tech and business studies. I have been coming to DDCS events since 2013 and I’m now a youth volunteer for DDCS! I have lots of favourite events I’ve been to including the family PGL weekend, the Harry Potter studio tours as well as the beloved Christmas party and summer family fun day and hog roast!

I’m moderately deaf in both ears and wear bilateral hearing aids (hearing aids in both ears) and also make use of an EduMic radio aid at school. I remember back to when I joined DDCS and started coming along to events, it made me feel like I wasn’t alone with my deafness. Over the years I’ve made so many genuine connections through DDCS and I couldn’t be more grateful. Shirley and her team are truly amazing! This is me with some of my friends from DDCS! My friendships I made at DDCS also found me some of my best friends at school such as Abi and Helena in the Barbie photo booth below

DDCS have done so much for me I thought it was time I start giving back so my mum and I decided to join the committee! I’m now a youth volunteer and my mum, Julie, is a trustee. Shirley and the other trustees all kindly welcomed me and I have attended a few meetings where I get to have a say, as a young person on what events we put on!

I attended my first event being a youth volunteer when we went to Circus Starr and it was great fun! I cannot wait to attend more events and get to know more of you! I am always up for a chat with anyone of any age whether you'd like to chat about experiences being deaf or would like some advice catch me at one of our next events! I’ll be in a red fleece!

 Great to see Yazz growing up into a fantastic young person and becoming our youth volunteer.

Thank you Yazz!


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 to select 'Individual Fundraising' and you can set up your own fundraising page and the sponsorship comes direct to us

and they will also claim gift aid for us.

Single donations to the charity can also be made on the link below.


Welcome Jemma O'Rourke

Jemma joined the Hearing Support Service in January 2023.

A message from Jemma:


I am delighted to join the HSS as a trainee Advisory Teacher.  I have over twenty years teaching experience, both in the UK and internationally, working in mainstream and special educational settings. Most of my work has been with Early Years and KS 1.  

Jemma O'Rourke HSS pic.JPG

My specialism is working with children and young people with SEN, especially Autism.  I feel very lucky to be learning from experienced colleagues on the HSS team and I am really looking forward to meeting the children, families and school staff I will be supporting.


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

We regularly contribute towards signing classes and provided literature to support signing. We also provide 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  with details of what you are asking for, how it will help your child and the costs. Please give as much information as possible.

Each case is considered on its individual merits.

Healthy Minds

We all know how important it is to look after our children's physical health, but sometimes we forget that mental health is just as important.

Just like adults, children and young people can have sad or negative thoughts or feelings from time to time. This can affect their mood and behaviour. We all feel down sometimes, but if you notice your child's mood or behaviour has changed significantly, this could be a sign that something is wrong. It's not your responsibility to work out if your child has a mental health issue or what sort of mental health problem your child is suffering from. It's the responsibility of healthcare professionals to do a good assessment and consider what difficulties your child may be having and why.

Deaf children need to be aware of deafness and feel empowered, confident and capable of dealing with some of the everyday challenges they might face. Most hearing people have little or no experience of deafness, which can make the deaf people they meet feel isolated. The way that parents, carers, relatives, friends professionals and even total strangers respond to your deaf child will have an impact on your child's self-esteem, sense of identity and how they feel about themselves. Regular opportunities to meet with other deaf children and deaf adult role models can help your child to develop positive self-identity.

Deaf children should have the opportunity to develop strategies to manage the impact of their deafness without feeling the need to apologise for it. Make sure your child knows that they can speak to you about how they feel.

If you think your child might have a mental health condition, you should seek professional help. Some children and young people benefit from psychological therapy, such as counselling or therapy. There are lots of different forms of psychological therapy and your GP should be able to help you decide which form is best for your child and how to access it. In many areas, there may be specialist help available for deaf children and deaf people with varying communication needs. 

Not all children need to be treated by CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services). Even if your child is referred to CAMHS, there may be a long waiting list for treatment. In some cases, your child's school might be able to offer counselling and support. Other useful organisations who may help you and your child are listed below.

Childline Deaf Zone

Advice and support for deaf children up to the age of 18 in English and BSL. You can speak to a counsellor over the phone, online chat or via SignVideo.

Young Minds

The uk's leading charity supporting children and young adults mental health.

Build Sound MInds

Action for children's campaign to improve the emotional wellbeing of children and young people.


A children's mental health charity providing counselling and mental health support and training in UK schools.

Anna Freud Centre

A nationwide children's charity providing training and support for child mental health services.


Mental health charity providing advice and support to children, young people and adults who are experiencing mental health cifficulties.


Disability equality charity providing practical advice and emotional support in England and Wales.

Sign Health

A UK charity dedicated to providing access to healthcare for the deaf community, including information on psychological therapy for people over the age of 16.

For more information:

NDCS has some great resources:

Supporting young people's mental health and well being (

Emotional health and well being for families of deaf children (

Supporting your child's mental health (

CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services)

CAMHS Gateway:

Recommended services on the CAMHS website:

Dorset Council has a directory of local groups and organisations:

Dorset Council advice and support ofr young people: dorset

BCP directory of mental health provision and support:

BCP wellbeing resource directory for children:

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 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 at Longfleet Baptist Church, 138 Wimborne Road, Poole, BH15 2E There is parking available at the church. 


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 33 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


Please contact Sarah Stobbart on 07824 529461

or Sarah Poole on 07393 147291 for more information

Cochlear Implanted
Children's Support Group

CICS is an independent, voluntary group run by parents to support families whose children have cochlear implants. They send out quarterly newsletters and run trips and activity weekends for families.

To find out more about them visit their website: or contact Tricia

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:

At the end of the summer term, we said a sad farewell to Sally Robinson and Elisabeth Gower who have retired from the Hearing Support Service after a combined 50 years of service. Sally and Elisabeth have made an immeasurable contribution to the development of the Hearing Support Service over the years and have worked with hundreds of children during their time as Advisory Teachers. They have touched the lives of all who have worked with them, and we are truly grateful for their passion, expertise and dedication.

We wish Sally and Elisabeth an amazing

and well-deserved retirement.

Thank you from the DDCS Trustees and 

all the children and their families!

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 Advice and Guidance  Officer Debbie Ravensdale.

Her contact details are:

Direct line: 01489 892046

Mobile: 07816482136


NDCS Helpline : 0808 800  8880

Little Signers Club

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 -

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! 


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!

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 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 see 'On the Radio' below.

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 £6 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 or personal independence payment.  Send this with your £6 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 -

Odeon - BH2 Bournemouth, Dorchester, Salisbury & Southampton

Cineworld - Tower Park Poole and Weymouth

Rex - Wareham

SSVC - Blandford

Plaza - Dorchester

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.

The Dorset Deaf Children's 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.

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 £20 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. 

To qualify for the pass your child needs to be profoundly or severely deaf, you can apply online or by post, travel is free on local buses and all areas of England in off peak times - 9.30am-11pm.  You can also apply for a companion bus pass if you are not able to make a journey alone.

More details are available on the councils website 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!

bottom of page