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Charities merge to form Berkshire Deaf Children's Society

Two charities for deaf children have merged to create one to support children with hearing loss across the county.

The Berkshire Deaf Children’s Society will be hosting a launch party at Thames Valley Adventure playground in Bath Road in Taplow on Sunday, September 16 from 10am to 1pm to celebrate its creation.

The two previous societies – in Reading and South-east Berkshire – struggled for volunteers, leading to a fresh, county-wide initiative.

The aim of the charity is to support deaf children and their families in the Berkshire area by providing opportunities for deaf children to meet others, make friends, develop skills and build confidence.

It will create a strong peer network for parents and families, offering support and advice.

There are more than 45,000 deaf children living in the UK and 90 per cent of those are born to hearing parents who have little or no experience of deafness.

Society chairwoman Samantha Barnard explained the purpose of the new society. She said: “The situation was that South East Berkshire was going to close as there was no one to run it, and that would have been such a shame.

“Most families come to us when their child is first diagnosed. People are in shock and do not know where to turn, so we can point them in the right direction.

“They can talk to other parents who are going through the same thing.

“We can also provide essential equipment that can’t be provided by the NHS or education department.”

As well as parties and meet-ups, the society also has exciting trips planned for children and parents.

“We have a pantomime trip to Reading and a party in Bracknell planned,” Samantha added.

“We go all over really and are hoping to spread it across the whole area.”

To register for a place at the party, email berksdcs@gmail.com

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