Deaf News: SignHealth wins Disability Charity of the Year for its domestic violence service Deafhope

Posted on June 16, 2014

Our supporter SignHealth has won Disability Charity of the Year at 2014′s Charity Awards for its domestic violence service Deafhope.

A spokesperson for the charity said they “are over the moon and incredibly grateful for the recognition of our life-changing, life-saving service.”

Deafhope and Young Deafhope aims to help Deaf women and children who are suffering from domestic abuse and violence. The charity realised there was a problem when they found out about the experiences of women accessing their psychological therapy service.

They later found out that Deaf people experienced domestic abuse twice as much as hearing people, and went on to set up the DeafHope services.

As this extract from the Charity Awards website says:

DeafHope launched in 2012. Cases proved much more complex than anticipated, with most women affected not born in Britain, including refugees or asylum-seekers, and requiring highly intensive support.  Therefore targets needed to be changed, explained to funders, and staff had to retrain in International Sign Language. Interventions uncovered many cases of honour-based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.  Because the deaf community is so small and close-knit, painstaking measures had to be taken to ensure the personal safety of service users and staff.

Using the ten ‘Hallmarks of Excellence’ – ten attributes that ‘should be present in any successful project’ – as the judging criteria, the panel announced their decision that Deafhope was the winner of the Disability category.

Their service was described as a ‘truly inspiring example of excellence and outstanding work’, ‘demonstrating exemplary standards of leadership and management to advance their cause’ . 

Richard Dunford, the Chair of SignHealth, accepted the award on behalf of the charity and said:

“Thank you, we’re absolutely delighted to receive this award. It means such a lot that such an esteemed panel of judges have chosen us. We would also like to thank our funders for believing in the work and supporting it as they have – it would not have been possible without them. It really is a great project and doing some amazing work with Deaf female survivors of abuse and we’re delighted that such key players in our industry recognise this.”

For more about Deafhope, or to get help, go to:

The first DeafHope conference takes place tomorrow in London, and you can find more information about that here:

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