Ray Davis – Volunteer at Youth Club and Deaf Parents’ Support Group

‘I hope that by supporting her, this experience could lead to a paid position for her’

How did you hear about Coin Street?

I’ve been volunteering at Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB) for about 2 years after hearing about them through the Henry Fawcett school. I have a level 2 pass in British Sign Language (BSL) and am currently in the middle of Level 3. As I needed to get more practical experience alongside studying so decided to volunteer.

I know you volunteer at the at the Youth Club, what do you actually do?

I support a deaf volunteer who is working with hearing young person at the Youth Club. The volunteer is an extremely good communicator herself but really relies on support from someone with some knowledge of BSL. She would really like to get a job working with young people and I hope that by supporting her, this experience could lead to a paid position for her. I also thoroughly enjoy being alongside the youngsters in the club seeing the world through their eyes.

And you also volunteer at the Deaf Parents Support Group?

Yes I do! This is a group designed to provide information and support to parents who are deaf. Parents come along with their children, I am on hand to support them. I usually end up entertaining the children, leaving their parents some time to chat among themselves.

Would you encourage others to get involved in CSCB’s community activities?

Yes. I volunteer because, despite some positive changes, there are still huge barriers for deaf people including a lack of awareness and integration in mainstream society and a lack of jobs. My son is deaf so I have been involved in a personal capacity with the deaf community for a long time.