Punk Chef, Scott Garthwaite has been named as the second British Sign Language (BSL) Ambassador for Doncaster Deaf Trust.
Scott who is passionate about championing British Sign Language and food together, joins Deaf actress Charlotte Arrowsmith as a BSL Ambassador for the Trust and will help the charity promote the use of BSL as a communication tool.
The Trust, who have been providing Deaf education from the Doncaster site since 1829, manage Little Learners Day Nursery, Doncaster School for the Deaf, Dickson House care home, Communication Specialist College Doncaster (for Deaf students and those with communication difficulties including autism) and Aspire to be – employability services.
Alexis Johnson, executive principal of the Trust said: “We are thrilled that Scott has agreed to be an BSL Ambassador for the Trust. This is great news for BSL promotion and will be a real inspiration to our pupils and students.
“We are looking forward to working with Scott and Charlotte to help to promote the use of BSL to the wider community.
“Our aim is to have four ambassadors from the Deaf community who will help our students and pupils to see what they can achieve and will be at the forefront of our campaign to get more people signing.”
The Trust launched a free online BSL course in 2020, thanks to National Lottery funding, and already more than 17,000 have registered to learn to sign.
Scott honed his culinary skills after falling in love with food during his travels in the country of Jordan. where he had been living temporarily for eight months and learnt so much about cooking and the food culture of the Middle East. He decided that he wanted to seek opportunities to develop further and never allowed his deafness to stop him achieving his dreams of becoming a professional chef.
Scott furthered his culinary training at the award-winning resort under one of the UK's most celebrated chefs. He then went on to work at some of the respected restaurants in the Northeast of England including Truffle restaurant in Darlington, the 'Wellington' at Wynyard Hall and now he is part of the talent group of chefs at Hambleton Hall, Rutland, the restaurant held a Michelin star for four decades and it is the longest-retained single star in the UK.
In September 2012 he launched his TV series 'Punk Chef' & 'Punk Chef's Kids Challenge' with Flashing Lights Media, broadcasting for Film4, TogetherTV and currently on Sky On-Demand. He also appeared on BBC See Hear's special in 2015. His food travel TV series 'Punk Chef on the Road' with Hungry Gap Production was a hit with BSLBT which has made him the first celebrity deaf chef to emerge in mainstream television today delivering awesome recipes in sign language.
Scott’s celebrity status in the Deaf community has seen him travel all over the world cooking at various festivals, but his first breakthrough was at Ludlow’s food and Drink Festival when he became the first deaf chef to cook at the Wot’s cooking main stage at their 25 year anniversary in front of mainstream audience with the use of voice over provided by an interpreter, he is keen to break the boundaries and show that other deaf chefs can do the same. He is keen to encourage others to follow in his footsteps.
Scott said: “I am very proud to be a BSL Ambassador for the Trust. I have worked hard to get to where I am in my career and have had to overcome lots of barriers in communication because not enough people know enough about deafness or BSL.
“I’m really looking forward to working with the Trust and the pupils and students to help them to promote the use of BSL to the wider community. The more people who can communicate via British Sign Language, the better!”
To learn the basics of the British Sign Language level one course visit www.doncasterdeafsign.org.uk