The City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, has awarded a grant of £180,000 to the Jewish Deaf Association (JDA). The grant will support the running of its Ageing Well Together day centre and towards their services for isolated, older Deaf or Deafblind British Sign Language (BSL) users.
Around 200 people are supported by the charity every year. The JDA was set up in 1951 to help older BSL users in the Jewish community, who often do not lip-read and have limited literacy- excluding them from mainstream services and wider society.
Today, services at the JDA include specialist hearing aid support and maintenance; a technology information centre; lip-reading classes; BSL training; and social activities including discussion groups and a book club. Services for parents of babies or children newly diagnosed as Deaf are also offered, while Deaf Awareness Training is delivered in schools and day centres.
Stress, anxiety and depression are particularly prevalent among the Deaf/Deafblind community and the Ageing Well Together day centre carefully match clients with volunteers to help spot problems and avert crises, minimising the likelihood of users suffering from these issues.
Alison Gowman, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said:
“JDA is offering much-needed service to older BSL users, who often struggle to engage with mainstream welfare services. The charity provides a vital resource that reduces isolation and exclusion, improves physical and mental health and is often a lifeline for older deaf and deaf-blind people.