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Sussex Deaf Forum Events

Meet the team

Sussex Deaf Forum is held at the Action for Deafness building, 22 Sussex Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 4EA. It runs on the 2nd Thursday of every month from 7pm – 9pm, doors open at 6.30pm. Fully accessible building with stairlift, BSL interpreters and a Speech to Text reporter.

Please note there will be no meetings of the Sussex Deaf Forum in July or August as we take a break for the summer, but we look forward to meeting you all again in September.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, 11th January 2018

Improve your Mental Health and Wellbeing - presented by Fiona Mitchell-Wu

Fiona Mitchell-Wu, a therapist from BSL Healthy Minds, will share tips on how to make goals and New Year resolutions successful and explain why they often don't work. Having realistic goals can improve your Mental Health and Wellbeing. She will also give tips on what to do, if you still struggle with low moods and/or anxiety. 

Improve your Mental Health with Exercise and Eating - presented by Penny Hall

Penny Hall, a Deaf Personal Trainer, will give an informative talk on how exercise and eating can improve Mental Health. Forget unrealistic New Year resolutions and learn a few useful tips that you can start straight away for a better and healthier 2018! You are welcome to join her FB group - Penny Hall Deaf Personal Trainer.

Thursday, 8th February 2018

Fire Safety in the home – presented by Tim Schwaiger 

Tim Schwaiger, previously a firefighter with West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and now a trainer with B-9 Fire Protection Ltd will be giving us some life saving tips on Fire Safety in the Home. 

Do you know the most common causes of fires?
How to avoid them?What to do if you discover a fire?
Do you have the right equipment in your home to keep you safe?

Find out the answers to all these questions and more.

Thursday, 8th March 2018

Equipment in the home for Deaf people – presented by Robert Everingham, BSL Users

Robert Everingham and Ivan Polacek run Silent Spectrum, a company that specialises in buying and fitting a Wireless Signalling System for Deaf people in their homes. This alerting system will work with all the technology needed; doorbells, Entry doors, mobile phones, landlines, baby alarm smoke detector, press button callers and so forth. See their website for more information - Please be aware, this is NOT free equipment. If you are interested, you can buy it from Silent Spectrum and it will be fitted in your home by Robert or Ivan. Come on the 8th March for a demonstration of the equipment and information on updated technology.

Thursday, 12th April 2018

1st slot - TBC

The role of a Dentist and Dental Health care – presented by Matthew York

Matt York is a Dentist with expert knowledge on dental care. In this presentation, he will talk about dental problems, how these are impacted by diet and cleaning, how to treat dental problems, whitening, dentures and mouth cancer. Come and join us for an interesting evening and learn everything you need to know to have a healthy mouth and lovely, clean teeth.

Thursday, 10th May 2018

 ‘BSL – where has it come from and what is the future?’ – presented by Peter Brown 

Recently, many signers have become increasingly concerned about the lack of respect given to our traditional BSL signs amongst the newer generations of the British Deaf community.  For example, the sign for ‘okay’ by holding up the thumb is something that has begun to be phased out, being replaced by the well-known one-handed alphabet, fingerspelling  ‘O K’. The former handshape was one that helped Thomas Braidwood’s pupils begin to expand their ‘positive’ sign vocabulary from around 1760, which later flourished to a full language when Braidwood’s former assistant teacher, Joseph Watson opened his school in 1792. In order to prevent this heritage fading further, I will give a lecture on the past and the future of BSL.


Past Events

Thursday, 12th January 2017

Smartphone and/or Tablet – presented by Adrian Bailey

Did you get a new smartphone or tablet for Christmas? Have you treated yourself to one in the sales? This presentation will show you some new apps that you can download to make the most of your new device. From social networking, to fitness, to managing your money, these devices can do so much. During the presentation, Adrian Bailey will provide you with some tips to get you started.

Channel Swim – presented by Andrew Rees

The highs and lows of Andrew Rees’ Channel Swim: a talk to inspire you to believe in the impossible. Andrew Rees will be giving a talk on his journey on achieving his epic 38 mile swim, through gale force winds, swells, encountering dangers and swimming in isolation in darkness. Deafness is not a barrier.

He recently received Deaf Sports Personality of the Year 2016.

Thursday, 9th February 2017

What is Mental Health First Aid – Presented by Susan Craney

Susan Craney, an accredited Deaf Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Instructor, will talk about the Mental Health First Aid course.

Mental Health First Aid was first introduced in Australia in 1999 and is now an internationally recognised course.

The talk will focus on how to:

  • understand general mental health
  • get a better understanding, for yourself and for others, for some issues surrounding mental health
  • get a better understanding of how and why, positive and negative mental health affects everyone
  • help you to support people with mental health issues
  • work more effectively with people experiencing mental health issues
  • identify the discrimination surround mental health
  • look after your own health and wellbeing

Mental Health in the Deaf Community – Presented by Roger Hewitt

Roger Hewitt from the British Society for Mental Health and Deafness (BSMHD) will talk about why incidents of mental ill health in the Deaf community, are higher than in the general population and how mental health issues affect the Deaf community.

Thursday, 9th March 2017

Care Act 2014 and Carers Assessment – presented by Wendy Anderson

Due to the lack of specialist, high quality expertise in social work for Deaf people and those with sensory needs, Wendy founded Deaf Independent in January 2012. Wendy is an experienced Social Worker with nearly 20 years experience and has worked in a variety of social work settings including working with Deaf people with Mental Health needs and Children and Families. The Care Act 2014, is a new law in Adult Social Work, implemented in 2015. Wendy will be explaining this Act and will talk about your rights under this new law.

Thursday, 13th April 2017

Stroke Ambassador – presented by Zuher Panju

A Stroke is one of the greatest health challenges of our time, yet it is still not getting the attention or funding it deserves. We are here to change the world for people affected by Stroke.

Our Stroke Ambassador presentation will discuss the statistics around stroke in UK and the support services that we offer. We will also discuss the risk factors and preventative actions one can take to minimise the chance of having a stroke.

HIV presented by Clare Chilton

Deaf Hope from Sign Health will deliver a presentation on HIV. The presentation will answer the following questions: What is HIV?, Who is at risk?, How can the risk can be reduced? The presentation will also cover the importance of HIV testing and what treatment is available for anyone who tests positive for HIV. The aim of presentation is to discuss the myths about HIV and AIDS so that the Deaf community have greater awareness and are more able to protect themselves.

Thursday, 11th May 2017

Channel Swim – presented by Andrew Rees

The highs and lows of Andrew Rees’ Channel Swim: a talk to inspire you to believe in the impossible. Andrew Rees will be giving a talk on his journey on achieving his epic 38 mile swim, through gale force winds, swells, encountering dangers and swimming in isolation in darkness. Deafness is not a barrier.He recently received Deaf Sports Personality of the Year 2016.

Understanding Mental Health – presented by Mary Carolan

A brief introduction explaining:

* What is mental health 

* Looking after mental health 

* Deaf and Hearing mental health comparisons 

* Hormonal effects on mental health

* Male mental health 

Thursday, 8th June 2017

Prostate Cancer Support – presented by Terry Oliver

A brief introduction to Prostate Cancer, it's diagnosis and treatment; local treatment centres; support available; and, finally some information about our support group.

Speak Up Against Cancer - presented by a Cancer Prevention Co-ordinator, Albion in the Community

If detected early over 90% of breast cancers can be successfully treated. More than 200 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Brighton and Hove each year.  Speak Up Against Cancer is Albion in the Community’s cancer awareness and early detection project.  Come and meet Speak Up staff and cancer survivor volunteers to find out how to look after your breasts and keep your skin safe from the effects of the sun!

Thursday, 14th September 2017

The Rise and Fall of English Fingerspelling in the British Deaf Community - presented by Peter Brown, Deaf BSL user

Many Deaf people talk with admiration of the phenomenon of fingerspelling as the main means of communication in the British Deaf Community, in the past. There are very few Deaf people still alive who only use fingerspelling to communicate. This skill began to fade at the beginning of the 19th century so the Missioner and President of British Deaf and Dumb Association, Mr Ernest Ayliffe, fought to bring it back into Deaf education in 1931. Why? Come and find out.

Thursday, 12th October 2017

Arthritis Action – presented by Martin Lau

There are around 10 million people with arthritis in the UK. It is one of the main contributors of pain and discomfort also leading to a poor quality of life. Arthritis Action is the only arthritis charity to offer a hands on approach to manage arthritis. In this presentation, Martin will give an introduction of the charity, services they offer, why weight management is important for people with arthritis and the role of muscle strength in arthritis especially osteoarthritis.

Thursday, 9th November 2017

Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) – presented by Karen Brown

Karen Brown is a Visiting Officer from the Department of Work and Pensions and she supports Deaf customers to access DWP services, including benefits and the State Pension. In her presentation, Karen will explain about the new benefit called Universal Credit and will give an update on PIP.

Pension – presented by Martin Redshaw, Deaf BSL User

What is Pension? Who gets them? What is the difference between State Pension, Company Pension and Personal Pension?Too good to miss!

Thursday, 14th December 2017

Christmas Social Event 

Come and join us for an evening of Bingo and socialising to celebrate the end of 2017. There will be a raffle and a Christmas buffet plus prizes, fun and laughter. Bingo starts at 7pm.


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