Scouts in North Lincolnshire have been taught the basics of British Sign Language (BSL) and given a valuable insight into life as a Deaf person.

Volunteers from Communication Specialist College Doncaster were welcomed by the 1st Belton and Epworth Scout Group for an evening of Deaf awareness training.

Stacey Betts, assistant principal at Communication Specialist College Doncaster, and Megan, a member of Doncaster Deaf Trust's 'Deaf Social Club', taught the scouts about what it means to be Deaf.

Megan shared with them her cochlear implant and explained how it felt to be Deaf. The scouts learnt basic BSL greetings, as well as how to sign family members, the alphabet and numbers. The training finished with a fun game of BSL bingo.

Stacey said: "We want to say thank you to the Scout Group and Scout Section leader John Anderton for inviting us to provide some Deaf awareness training.

"The Scouts were fully engaged throughout, asked lots of questions and enjoyed the chocolate easter eggs won in BSL bingo!

"The Scout groups have generously donated some money to Communication Specialist College for our contribution to their language project.  

"Deaf awareness is so important and it means more people in the community will be able to relate to, and communicate with, our students. Taking the time to learn the basics of BSL, for example, can make a big difference to the lives of Deaf people you interact with."

John Anderton, Scout Section Leader said: “The Scouts were working towards their ‘Communication Badge’ which sees them taking part in activities on various types, such as Morse Code, Radio, Digital and Foreign Languages.

“Having Stacey and Megan leading the evening on the Sign Language part of this badge, made it so much more impactful and it saw great engagement from all the Scouts.

“BSL is becoming increasingly important, and a lifelong skill that will prove helpful throughout anyones life. So it was great to see the Scouts learn the basics from Stacey and Megan, and even continuing to use after the meeting had finished, with some parents telling me they went home and showed them too.

“Overall, I am extremely grateful for the time Stacey and Megan gave, and I am already thinking of working with them again in the future.”

Doncaster Deaf Trust also offers a free online Level 1 British Sign Language course covering basic signs including greetings, numbers, addressing people, travel and transport and hobbies. 

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