About Us

Committee Members - Vision & Values

Welcome to the Surrey Deaf Children's Society. We are here to help deaf children and their families to meet other deaf children, adults and their families. We can provide support and information based on our own experiences with our deaf children or as deaf adults. It is free to join the Surrey Deaf Children's Society and we will send you details of all our events. Events are held frequently for pre-school, primary and secondary aged children and their families.


The membership of Surrey Deaf Children's Society (SDCS) is made up of families with Deaf children and professionals working with Deaf children in Surrey, such as teachers of the Deaf, social workers and health service staff. It is run by a committee composed of parents and professionals.  We provide support for both oral/aural and BSL families.

We organise a number of monthly events for deaf children, young people and their families as well as occasional larger events such as Christmas parties and our AGM.

NDCS Affiliation
As a local Deaf Children's Society affiliated to the National Deaf Children's Society we have close links with them and they offer us a lot of support and training for our committee.

We are not the same organisation – we are all volunteers working from our own homes and the NDCS is a large national charity! This means that we will often point you towards them for help – they have many useful publications, a helpline, a legal team who can help with tribunals, family officers and evens for families and children.

I would urge you all to join – it's free! – and then they will send you information about all their services. In the meantime here are some links to useful pages of their site:

Understanding Deafness (all the jargon!):
http://www.ndcs.org.uk/family_support/understanding_your_childs_hearing_tests/index.html

Publications:
http://www.ndcs.org.uk/family_support/new_resources.html

Information on technology:
http://www.ndcs.org.uk/family_support/technology_and_products/

The Helpline:
http://www.ndcs.org.uk/family_support/how_ndcs_can_help/our_helpline/ndcslivechat.html

Charlotte Crutchington, Chair
Ian and I have 2 sons, Oliver, our eldest is profoundly deaf and uses cochlear implants.
Oliver was diagnosed as profoundly deaf at 6 weeks old and fitted with his first hearing aids at 11 weeks, he began assessment by Great Ormond Street Hospital for cochlear implants at 9 months and tests showed that he was receiving little benefit from the hearing aids and was a suitable candidate for implants. He had his surgery at 13 months and was switched on 2 weeks later, he showed no response to switch on but made good progress with listening and some progress with making sounds in the short term but as time went on he made slower progress than expected. However he continues to make progress which amazes us as parents and we are thrilled with everything he has achieved. I have been on the committee since April 2012 and love working with the younger children, especially arranging soft play events but seeing all ages together at our larger events is one of my favourite things about SDCS.

Kris Harvey, Vice Chair
Our son, Thomas was diagnosed at birth with a severe - profound hearing loss; he has been wearing hearing aids since he was 9 weeks old. Like many families we were really shocked to learn of his diagnosis, having had no experience with deafness before that. We opted for a natural aural approach and have focused heavily on speaking and listening with the support of places like The Elizabeth Foundation in Portsmouth. Thomas attends a mainstream junior school with a HI Unit. He clearly takes after me; he loves to talk...non stop! We love being a part of SDCS and we've made some lifelong friends through here.

Helen Le Page, Treasurer

I have two children, my eldest is profoundly deaf. She has bilateral cochlear implants (implanted quite late at five and six years old). My youngest has a severe loss and wears bilateral hearing aids. Although both aural, I felt it important to be one step ahead and signed with my daughter when she was a baby (I’m currently learning BSL level 3) now my daughter even helps teach sign in her HI unit at school to the teachers and six formers!
Both kids are very different but have both thrived going to a mainstream with HI unit school – the only downside… it’s 20 miles from home so I feel like I live on the A3 sometimes!
I feel privileged to say I'm the SDCS treasurer, after attending a ‘Family Signing’ course many years back. It was the best thing we ever did, as it opened up a whole new support lifeline and we have all met life-long friends through SDCS. I can’t emphasis enough how important it is to have friends with shared experiences to lean on. Plus the kids have fun at the events!

Xenia James, Secretary
I have three children; two boys aged and a girl. My younger son (William) was born hearing but suffered from Meningitis at 15 months and as a result was diagnosed deaf at 16 months. The diagnosis came as a shock as I had not noticed any signs that he was deaf, although his brother was not surprised and said it explained a lot about why William ignored him. I have a background in psychology and currently work as a Supply Teacher in KS1 and KS2 and also as a Home Care Assistant. I love social and outdoor events.

Gabi Stiles
I have three children – my son, is profoundly Deaf and has bilateral cochlear implants.  My daughters are both hearing.  When my son was diagnosed Deaf at ten months old our first thought was to learn sign language and we found the SDCS and the family signing classes that were running at the time.  Max still signs but since having implants his speech has developed so that he finds it difficult to stop talking!  He now goes to a specialist school for Deaf children and is progressing well.  We attended many events and made many new friends through the SDCS and now I have been chair of the charity for several years.  I think it has proved very valuable to Max to make friends with other Deaf children and to meet Deaf adults who are good role models.  It is also great to share experiences with other parents – and have a laugh and a moan!

Sindy Midgley
My daughter is profoundly Deaf and has bilateral cochlear implants. It was a complete surprise to my husband and I to be told our daughter was profoundly deaf after she failed the new born screening hearing test as we have no deaf relatives or history of deafness on either side of our families. She was implanted at St. Georges Hospital at 11 months. We use total communication with our daughter and I have my BSL level 1. She enjoys singing and dancing much like most girls and being deaf is just another facet to who she is. She is currently attending a main stream infant school with a HI unit and is doing very well. We have found the SDCS a wonderful group of caring families who have been very supportive. The opportunities we have been given to learn more about deafness and seek advice from families who have been thorough similar has been invaluable. We have all made some great friends and have a lot of fun at SDCS events. 

Jennifer Loten

Our Values - S E E

Supportive & Understanding
Engaging
Enhancing/Enriching

Vision - Enriching the lives of deaf children, young adults and their families.

Mission – At the SCDS we strive to actively enrich the lives of deaf children, young adults and their families by delivering the NDCS aims through fun and engaging events and workshops and also providing a support network that breaks down the barriers towards deafness.