Joe Collins reports for BDN on the upcoming trip to the seaside being arranged for Deaf over 50s.
The annual Deaf UK 50+ holiday gives Deaf people aged 50 and above a chance to get away from it all and socialise with fellow sign language users. This year, there is the added benefit of DeafInfo, a one-day exhibition to promote relevant products and services to older Deaf people, all accessible in British Sign Language (BSL).
There’s nothing like the Great British seaside, fish and chips, and a good game of bingo to get you in the holiday mood. It’s even better when you know that all your fellow holidaymakers will be signing, transporting you to a deaf world – even if it is for one week only. Leave your chores at home and your cares in the workplace, and join in a week of fun-filled activities, all delivered in BSL, at this year’s Deaf UK 50+ holiday.
A place to be yourself
Deaf UK 50+, formerly known as England Deaf Darby and Joan (EDDJ), has been taking older deaf people on a holiday to seaside resorts around England for the last 13 years. It aims to provide a place for people to meet and socialise, to help reduce isolation and loneliness amongst this group. It’s just one way of filling the void left by the closure of Deaf clubs and offers the chance to meet up with friends old and new.
Set up in 2003 as a day trip to the East Coast with lunch and bingo included, it has grown to a week-long break packed full of accessible activities and entertainment, and regularly attracts 400-800 people. All holiday camps have their own entertainment but it’s always aimed at hearing holidaymakers – Deaf UK 50+ provides fun and games for deaf visitors such as ‘Play Your Cards Right’ and ‘The Generation Game’ in BSL. Well-loved Deaf performers such as John Smith, magician Alex Jobson and the D-Live Cabaret have also appeared, showing this entertainment is by deaf people for deaf people.
Accessible information on the things that matter
As part of this year’s holiday, there’s also DeafInfo, a one-day exhibition providing accessible information, face-to-face in BSL, on the things that really matter – health, pensions, security etc. It’s the second DeafInfo exhibition, following the success of the first event last year.
There will be a team of signing police officers, from three different forces, to discuss your personal and home safety concerns. Easylink UK will return to provide you with the newest technology on the market to support independent living. There will be various Council and Government teams on hand to raise awareness of how to avoid scams, ensure you use reputable trades people and how to complain if things go wrong, plus free and impartial advice on your pension options. This year, in response to feedback, you will be able to talk to people about a range of health matters.
This year leading Deaf organisations such as British Deaf Association (BDA), Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD) and British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust (BSBLT) have re-booked in order to keep everyone up to date with their latest services and campaigns.
The list is growing and there will be more to report soon.
Spreading the word
Deaf UK 50+ is a community organization run by a team of committed volunteers. The rebrand from EDDJ to DUK50+ demonstrates that it is working for the Deaf community right across the UK. So whether you’re based in Scotland, England, Ireland or Wales, you are more than welcome to join in.
If you’d like to join them, book now. Or if you know someone who could benefit from coming along, let them know!
Deaf UK 50+ runs from 3rd-7th October, 2016 at Pontins Pakefield in Lowestoft. It’s only
£155 per person inclusive of dinner, bed and breakfast, and entertainment. To book, email email@example.com
DeafInfo is on Wednesday 5th October. To exhibit, email firstname.lastname@example.org
DeafInfo 2015 in numbers
• 11 exhibitors
• 100% said exhibiting met their objectives
• 54% of exhibitors have re-booked for 2016
• 100% of attendees that responded found DeafInfo ‘useful and interesting’
“To exhibit our products to so many deaf customers was extremely beneficial as they are difficult people to reach” Exhibitor (Easylink)