A new British Sign Language (BSL) manager is now in post at Doncaster Deaf Trust, as the trust develops its new BSL strategy.
Natalie Pollard, from North Yorkshire, has been named as the BSL manager for the Trust and will lead the way in creating a BSL hub at the Leger Way organisation.
Natalie said, “I am thrilled to be taking on this new role at Doncaster Deaf Trust. I’ve worked at the Trust for 14 years teaching BSL to students and staff.
“The role is part of a new strategy that we’ve been developing within the trust to ensure that our BSL provision is at the heart of what we deliver.
“Staff across the trust are provided with BSL lessons, our pupils and students who use sign language to communicate love the fact that people are communicating with them in their first language, and we work with local businesses to help them to be Deaf aware and to offer them training and skills.
“As part of my new role I’ll be developing a BSL Hub, and we’ll shortly be recruiting for a BSL Tutor and a Deaf Awareness Coordinator so that we can develop our outreach services in the local community.
“I am really looking forward to working in this role and helping the trust to deliver its strategy.”
The BSL Hub will provide a range of BSL and Deaf Awareness related training courses and services to the wider community, including the public, families with deaf children and young people, employers, schools and colleges.
Alexis Johnson, chief executive of Doncaster Deaf Trust said: “We are really pleased to welcome Natalie into this new role.
“She has significant experience of teaching BSL to children, young people and adults including families and has a thorough understanding of Deaf culture, identity and issues.
“This is a very important role within the trust and will enable us to widen our reach into our communities with courses and services that will increase Deaf awareness and provide opportunities to learn new skills in key areas.”
Natalie is one of the key signers on the trust’s free online BSL course www.doncasterdeafsign.org.uk which currently has more than 17,000 people registered to learn to sign.
Doncaster School for the Deaf was founded in 1829 and has operated on the same 24-acre site since that time. Additional services have developed over the years including a Nursery, Children’s Home, College, Adult Employment Service and the Erasmus Sign Language project that all now operate under the Doncaster Deaf Trust which is a registered charitable trust.