There are around 300 children in the Wigan area with a hearing loss. Most deaf children go to mainstream school and they are often the only deaf child in their class or even in their school. It is really important for them to grow up knowing other deaf children and that is where we come in.
We are a local charity supporting families with deaf children in the Wigan borough. We are ‘Wigan & Leigh Deaf Children’s Society’. We are affiliated to the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) and our registered charity number is 1153578.
We arrange regular activities for deaf children and their families. We offer something for children of all ages from pre-school to teenagers. We are a local source of support for deaf children and their families. 80% of deaf children are born into families with no experience of hearing loss. It is very daunting to be told your child is deaf and sharing experiences with others in the same situation as you can be really helpful.
I've became involved with WLDCS in September 2014 as Co-ordinatior. I am self employed and my role with the charity involves organising and co-ordinating events and fundraising. Previously I had no experience of hearing loss so it has been very much a learning curve for me.
I am the main contact for WLDCS and if I'm unable to help I can always point you in the right direction. I love my job and get a great deal of satisfaction from seeing the smiles on the children's, and their families, faces when they are enjoying themselves.
I am Oliver's Dad. He was born deaf and got involved in the charity to help children like Oliver in the local area. I am a trustee and secretary of the charity.
Meet the Team
Mum to Oliver who was born in April 2012. Oliver failed the new born hearing test and very soon we found out he was deaf in both ears. Oliver has a moderate hearing loss in his right ear and a severe/profound loss in his left ear. I set up a coffee morning in April 2013 with two other mums to meet up with other families with deaf children in Wigan & Leigh. We were overwhelmed when 60 people turned up!!
With so many families wanting to meet up and support each other we set up WLDCS and raised enough money to become a registered charity. Oliver is now in the infants at our local mainstream school. There are no other deaf children at the school but Oliver has lots of deaf friends that he sees regularly through WLDCS. I feel very honoured to be part of our amazing WLDCS families. We share experiences and support each other.
My Daughter Anabelle was born in July 2011 . After various screening and audiology tests we was told she was profoundly deaf which as you can imagine came as a great shock to us as we had no experience of deafness and could not understand why this had happened to our little girl. At 3 weeks old she was fitted with her first hearing aids which we later found out was of no benefit to her so we later made the decision when she was 1 year old that Anabelle would have Cochlear Implants. I thought it was important for Anabelle to meet other deaf children and decided to go along to a local sensory group which is where I met Katie & Jodie. We talked about how it would be great if we had a local group for families of deaf children so that we could share our experiences and for our children to see that there are other children ' like them' . That's when WLDCS was formed and I became treasurer for the charity. WLDCS is a great way to meet other families of deaf children, we run a number of social events & provide support to families of deaf children. I love being involved with WLDCS and we have had great success over the last 4 years and long may this continue.
After an easy and problem free pregnancy, finding out my day old baby was profoundly deaf during the newborn screening was a complete shock.
We knew nothing about deafness as a family and struggled with the onslaught of tests over the few months.
Even from early on we had support from professionals, it just wasn't enough.
Through a small group run by the local borough, we met some families in the same situation. This is where Wigan & Leigh Deaf Children's Society was born!
We believed that every parent needed more support from people in similar circumstances.
As three mums of small children we struggled through our first year to raise awareness and funds.......
Five years later we have over 80 active families who benefit greatly from the charity we created!
Seeing deaf children playing together and learning they are not alone is the greatest reward we could hope for!
Since our charity launched we have raised incredible amounts of awareness in our community. Schools, businesses and authorities have all benefited!
Here's to the years to come!
My name is Rachael Moran and I first became involved in WLDCS because my daughter Caitlin, now 16, has bilateral hearing loss. She was diagnosed as deaf at the age of 2 and a half .
The diagnosis came as a huge shock to us and as this was 14 years ago there was no local deaf children's society to support us.
I have volunteered at the charity as a Youth Volunteer and recently became a trustee. WLDCS has had a massive impact on local families and I am proud to support them.