Our ambassadors are very important to us. They help to promote SignHealth and the important work we do. We think they deserve to be thanked so we’ve dedicated an entire page just to them.
Fletch is one of the UK’s leading Deaf SignSong performers. She translates the lyrics of songs and performs them in sign language. This emotive and captivating performance gives Deaf people access to the songs, whilst hearing people have the chance to experience the song both audibly, but more intensely, in a visual and powerful way.
“In November 2016 I became a direct recipient of their psychological therapy service when I turned to SignHealth for help because my Daddy passed away unexpectedly. SignHealth provided much-needed counselling with a Deaf therapist which was amazing as I could talk directly to the therapist without the need to go through a third person (interpreter). They understood my culture and identity as a Deaf person which helps massively. This service was fantastic in helping me to cope and come to terms with my grief. I am forever thankful to them for this.”
Fletch is at the front of our sign2sing fundraising events. Not only has she written the sign lyrics and performed in our music videos, she has visited schools giving sign2sing tutorials, teaching sign language and deaf awareness education. If you’d like to know more about her work and or invite her to run tutorials visit her website here.
Chasing Deer is creating a real buzz with their catchy and energetic pop songs, through writing, performing and living as a full-time band in London.
More than 900 live performances over the past three years have taken Chasing Deer across the UK and Europe, as well as Africa, playing supporting festival slots for UB40, the Pigeon Detectives and Feeder. They document their career in the weekly YouTube video series ‘Deer Diaries’.
The band has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, the Houses Of Parliament, Pride In London at Trafalgar Square and the Natural History Museum. They were also welcomed by President Uhuru Kenyatta as guest performers at The Kenyan International Music Festival.
Their music has been championed by BBC Music Introducing, BBC Radio 2, BBC 2’s ‘See Hear’ and Sky News.
The band self-released a new single every month in 2018 and the band’s artwork features a variety of hands using British Sign Language to portray each song title, and so raising awareness of British Sign Language. Their debut album ‘Hands On’ was performed at a sold-out show at Bush Hall. The night was fully accessible and featured interpreters on stage as well as throughout the venue, as well as balloons to amplify vibrations. To find out more about the band click here.
I am the founder and director of Rory’s Studio and as a Deaf British Sign Language user, I strive to illuminate Deaf Culture within mainstream forums. I began my professional career as an illustrator, working in collaboration with writer Julia Donaldson on her children’s book Gruffalo. In 2012, I was invited by the Paralympics to produce and direct Driving Inspiration, a live action short film that included representation from disabled children across the UK.
From 2014 to 2016 I began to research and develop Gothrella, a theatre production made for Deaf and hearing children and families. A strand of Rory’s Studio activity involves international exchange and production. Recent commitments have formed collaborations with Greek Deaf Theatre in Athens and Japan Deaf Theatre in Tokyo. My present project is the research and development of the Ginger Bread Witch, which will tour the UK this year. For more about me visit my website
I am a 36-year-old mother of two. I have been hard of hearing/deaf since I was three-years-old as a result of an accident when a barbecue fell onto my face and shoulder.
I am qualified in BSL at Level 2 and have started signing songs for both the Deaf and hearing community in my area. I have my own song signing group that meets every other Thursday, where we have fun learning new signs and dancing to the music. I love music and I feel everybody – regardless of shape, colour, size, or ability – should enjoy the pleasures which come through music.
I truly believe that in the 21st century we should not have any communication barriers between deaf people and hearing people. It would be an amazing achievement if we could all stand together and have this beautiful language taught in schools so that the next generation has it easier than last.
I’m Signkid. I’m the UK’s first and only deaf music producer, writer and performer to have pioneered and developed a unique aesthetic by integrating and adapting BSL into a visually based language suited specifically for live hip-hop music performances. I have subsequently evolved this approach into music video production by simultaneously overlaying a hearing rapper onto my distinctive BSL performance.
I am part of the Deaf Rave collective and a featured member of the Midi Music Company CICAS artist development programme. Midi Music said, “Signkid is leading the way for deaf artists worldwide. Beautiful lyricism and poetic delivery with movement and energy… One to watch.”
I released my first EP, ‘Music Is The Message’, in August 2017. This had been in development since November 2015, prompted by my first solo live performance as part of a Deaf Rave event at Fabric Nightclub. One of the videos for the EP – ‘Newsflash’ (feat Mr Off Key) – was nominated for Best Artistic Short Film by Deaffest 2017, the UK’s leading deaf arts festival. I have been featured in LADbible x Smirnoff’s documentary series ‘FreeToBe’, on BBC Breakfast News and BBC radio and been interviewed by popular blogs – ‘Limping Chicken’, ‘Hearing Like Me’ – and ‘PRS for Music’ magazine.
I have performed at the likes of Wireless Festival, Freshly Scratched in collaboration with Deaf and Hearing Ensemble, Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, Cinema 888, and Deaf Rave. You can hear examples of my work here and if you don’t hear the music, read the full lyrics here.
I’m Tamara from Tamara’s Signed Songs UK. I’m a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults), as well as having two older siblings who are profoundly deaf. I am the only person in my family that can hear. I’m proud to say that BSL was my first language and I have a deaf identity.
My older sister has suffered from a range of disabilities since birth. She is severely autistic and registered blind. My late father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in his late 40s which then progressed to dementia in his 50s.
Music was my escape to the hearing world. I started signing along to songs as a way to remember the lyrics. My sister would ask me to help her follow the lyrics and rhythm from her pop idols. Though profoundly deaf she managed to follow and enjoy the songs.
I’ve seen the struggles deaf people have to overcome first-hand. Especially those who are deaf with additional disabilities. This is an area that is close to my heart. I feel that there isn’t enough awareness or assistance in that sector so I set up Harlow Deaf Club (HDC) with my mum and sister.
Our aim is to help to provide the local deaf community with a meeting hub where people can regain their social skills, get information and help whilst catching up with friends. This is where my main sign song events evolved from.
After my sister recorded me signing the song ‘Santa Claus is Coming To Town’ for the HDS kids’ Christmas party and published it on Facebook, it received thousands of views and shares, and people started messaging me with song requests. It made me aware that even today there is still little out there to help people with hearing difficulties to follow music.
So that’s why I decided to set up my Facebook page and Youtube page. You can find me signing at music festivals, weddings, parties and even funerals so deaf guests can fully join in and be involved in the emotions.
I’m Wayne Barrow, I’m a performer of signed songs and founder of Wayne Barrow Academy, where we teach signed songs. I am a huge supporter of SignHealth because of all the fundamental work it does within the deaf community. I have a huge passion for mental health, and their psychological therapy service is something I truly support. Mental health plays a huge part in everyone’s lives, and accessing mental health as a deaf person isn’t easy.
SignHealth gives opportunities to those who are deaf to be able to discuss their issues and get the support they need. It’s charities like SignHealth which need more recognition, and I wholeheartedly support their aims.
Check out Wayne’s website here.
I’m Vicky Gayle, a journalist, sister to a deaf older brother and someone who has experienced first-hand how difficult it is for deaf people to access mental health support, especially in a crisis, and how little awareness there is amongst hearing people. But there is also a stark lack of research and professional training about health inequalities facing deaf people within the health industry.
When I first discovered SignHealth, I couldn’t believe such a service existed and I love everything it stands for. I was ecstatic to be chosen as an ambassador.
My brother is the only deaf person in our family. We’ve both experienced issues with mental wellbeing but the key differences are: I’ve had the full range of access to education, self-help advice, books, therapy when needed, and everything else possible to help my personal development.
Every day I’m reminded how much of a language barrier there is for deaf people who have a human and legal right to the same health information as I do. Although I’m not fluent in BSL, my brother and I have created our own way of communicating since I was little, as a lot of families like ours would. But that doesn’t matter as far as I’m concerned.
I still feel a sense of responsibility to help charities like SignHealth achieve their goals and to highlight inequalities where I see them, particularly as a journalist. I always share news from the deaf community on social media to educate my hearing friends, colleagues and followers. (It’s a must!)
Some articles I’ve been able to write about the deaf community where I live are here and here.
Follow me on Twitter @Vicky_Gazette and @Vi_Gayle