Committee Members

Committee Members 2017-10-05T10:30:41+00:00
Kris Harvey
Kris HarveyChair
I am very proud to be the Chair of SDCS as I really value the service and support we are able to offer families. It gives me great pleasure to see parents chatting and making friends at our events, and I especially love to see the children engaging, laughing, and making their own friends.

My son is severe-profoundly deaf and wears hearing aids in both ears. He attended The Elizabeth Foundation pre-school in Portsmouth once a week while he was a baby, toddler and pre-schooler. He is now in a mainstream school that has a Hearing Impaired Specialist Centre attached. He absolutely loves being at school with other deaf children, but equally immersed in a class with all of his hearing friends too.

Charlotte Crutchington
Charlotte CrutchingtonVice Chair
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; 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 until he went to school where he made rapid progress.

I have been on the committee since April 2012 and love working with the younger children and babies, especially arranging soft play events and events where the children can play while the adults chat! Seeing all ages together at our larger events is one of my favourite things about SDCS.

Gabi Stiles
Gabi StilesSecretary
I am currently Secretary but I have been on the committee for over ten years in various roles. I have three children and the oldest, Max is profoundly Deaf with bilateral cochlear implants. He is now happily at secondary school, at Mary Hare School and has made lots of friends through the SDCS over the years. My two daughters are both hearing but also enjoy coming to events.
Helen Le Page
Helen Le PageTreasurer
I’m Helen, proud mum to two deaf children – my daughter, who has a profound loss and has bilateral cochlear implants and a son who has a severe loss and wears bilateral hearing aids. Both very different – and challenging in different ways!!

As a family (both my husband and I are hearing) we always felt the kids should if possible, have both deaf and hearing friends and also wanted them to have deaf role models to look up to, so from pretty early on we joined ‘SDCS’. From that first family signing course we basically haven’t looked back!

We’ve all met life-long friends along the way and have stacks of happy memories from different events over the years. Having the support of friends with deaf children has been invaluable – for advice and support from friends who know exactly what you’re going through, without having to explain yourself is so refreshing (during tough times It’s been a life-line!)

Surrey Deaf has had such a positive effect on our family, I’m passionate about helping other families along the way like we were – I’m very proud to say I’m part of the SDCS committee – we’re a lovely bunch of mums dedicated to keeping children at the centre of everything we do.

Jennifer Loten
Jennifer LotenCommittee Member
We have twin boys one profoundly Deaf with bi-lateral cochlear implants and the other who is hearing. They were premature and remained in the neo-natal unit for six weeks and thankfully received the new born hearing screen test, the requirement for all new born babies.  This immediately flagged up that one of our boys failed the ABR (Auditory Brain Response) element of the test although he passed the otto-acoustic part of the test.

Despite being under Audiology we battled for two and half years and eventually got referred to St Georges’ Audiology where our son was finally diagnosed with a profound hearing loss in both ears with ANSD (Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum  Disorder). The ANSD was a significant factor in making his diagnosis difficult. He went straight into the cochlear implant assessment programme at St George’s hospital and a year later was successfully bi-laterally cochlear implanted.

As a result of this significant delay, we chose to follow an auditory aural approach, which would focus him on speaking and listening to the very best of his capabilities, bearing in mind such a significant delay.  Auditory Verbal UK, gave us the education, support, opportunity and above all encouragement to begin our journey.

Today our son is doing well and has made huge progress helped along by his twin brother who has been a significant influence and occasionally allows him to get a word in edge ways. On reflection we have had many challenges and positive opportunities. I am privileged to be an SDCS committee member and feel fortunate as a fellow parent to have met so many families, who I have learnt from and been inspired by to get involved.

Sindy Midgley
Sindy MidgleyCommittee Member
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. 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’s a sociable girl and enjoys being active. Being deaf is just another facet to who she is and she is confident to talk about her implants when she makes new friends.

We have found the SDCS a wonderful group of caring families who have been very supportive over the years. The opportunities we have been given to learn more about deafness and seek advice from families who have been thorough similar has also been invaluable. As a result we have made some very good friends through the SDCS and we all have a great time at events.