Deaf News : Charity communications support gives deaf entrepreneurs the chance to shine

Posted on November 20, 2014

A young photographer has been given a career boost, thanks to a Gloucestershire-based deaf charity.

Run by Gloucestershire Deaf Association, the ‘Mutton Jeffrey’ project aims to showcase and support deaf talent.

Bishop’s Cleeve resident Garrie Martin (25), had spent most of his working life pot washing at Pizza Hut, dreaming of the chance to follow his passion as a freelance photographer.

He is just one of a number of deaf entrepreneurs being given the chance to take their skills to the next level and gain experience, thanks to communications support from the charity.

Mutton Jeffrey for website.jpg-pwrt2

Initially, Garrie was given support to create a business portfolio, which set out his plans, prices and other information, including the best ways for customers to communicate with him.

After this was in place, Garrie set up a photography stand at the Eagle Tower in Cheltenham. Fifteen people had their photographs taken for free, as part of a promotion, and over 55 people visited throughout the day.

The Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Deaf Association, Jenny Hopkins, spoke of how this is an important turning point for deaf people in mainstream business. She feels that the barriers to communication between deaf entrepreneurs and their hearing clients need to be addressed.

Ms. Hopkins said; “We do this by GDA providing a communications bridge for both sides, making phone calls, using new technology to communicate in sign language with the deaf entrepreneur on behalf of the customer, and handling promptly and positively any issues that might arise during the work.

“We are enormously proud of what we are achieving around deaf employment in Gloucestershire and, with Mutton Jeffrey, we believe we are launching a scheme that could be duplicated by other deaf charities for deaf sign language users elsewhere around the country.

Since the showcase at the Eagle Tower, Garrie has secured further work, including an order to be official photographer at a birthday party. Two other deaf entrepreneurs involved in the scheme have also found their businesses taking off as a direct result of the project.

Ms. Hopkins continued: “Deaf people want to succeed. We have found a way to make that happen.”

Read more here:

By Emily Howlett. Emily is a Contributing Editor to this site. She is a profoundly Deaf actress, writer and teacher. Emily is co-director of PAD Productions and makes an awful lot of tea. And mess. She now has not one, but four grey eyebrow hairs. C’est la vie. She tweets as @ehowlett

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Posted in: deaf news