We are delighted to announce this year our Charity Partner is Music and the Deaf…
Founded in 1988 by Paul Whittaker OBE, himself profoundly deaf, “MatD” has worked for 25 years to promote and encourage music with and for deaf people across the UK and beyond. For many years Paul also provided signed performances of major musical shows and gave the first ever signed BBC Prom, “Sondheim at 80” in 2010.
Pictured right: Paul Whittaker OBE, Founder of Music and the Deaf with Merrill Osmond
Paul always maintained that deafness is no barrier to music, and knows from personal experience both the highs and lows of becoming successful deaf musicians. It’s vital that young deaf people have deaf role models to emulate and look up to and the “if they can do it, I can too” approach is central to the work of “Music and the Deaf.” Among current projects are Deaf Youth Ensembles which give deaf children a chance to meet together, learn about music, and to compose, play and perform their own pieces. There are four in the UK at the moment, and plans to set up many more across the UK will receive a boost through the partnership with the Hearing Fund UK.
Signed Song is another big project, with plans to set up Community Signing Choirs that bring together deaf and hearing people of all ages to make music. We are often told that our work not only inspires people but that it changes their lives. We have achieved many things in 25 years, but there is still much more to do.
Paul says, “The link between the Hearing Fund UK and Music and the Deaf brings together the two major organisations in the UK that are committed to music and deafness, and helps Olive Osmond’s dream of bringing “music to the ears” to many more deaf children and their families. We are proud to be associated with such a well-known and respected musical family as the Osmonds and look forward to working with them.”
We selected an amazing charity to be our first Charity Partner in 2012: The Elizabeth Foundation, which is a national charity supporting infants and preschool children with hearing loss and their families. These days in the UK, deaf children do not pay for their hearing aids but the additional support that they and their families get can make such a huge difference to their lives and language. We were delighted to work with this exceptional charity not least because of Justin Osmond’s own experiences of learning to communicate when he was a child, making this charity very close to his heart. The Elizabeth Foundation will again benefit in 2013 from money raised by The Hearing Fund UK.
Where you wish to donate to the Hearing Fund UK, your donation will be made to the ‘The Hearing Fund UK’ established under the Charities Aid Foundation (registered charity number 268369)