Our ‘Deaf Christmas Business Show’ was of very special importance this time, as 2015 saw us celebrate our 5th successive event.
Taking place at the St Luke Centre on 19th December, once again the Christmas cheer was bubbling over! The Centre was ‘dressed’ as though Christmas had come a week early. Sparkling with lights and tinsel, with toys that kept the children amused and bursting with information. It really was a fabulously festive and informative event…for the young…or just the young at heart!
This year the focus was on ‘New Vocational Ventures’ for the Deaf community. Topics from finding new employment to setting up a new business, meant many Deaf people attended, keen to learn all they could from the event. A wealth of information and advice was provided, along with useful tips, inspirational stories and anecdotes, and the all-important opportunity to network.
Motivational presentations were given by professionals dedicated to the encouragement of others towards the achievement of their dreams.
TERRA Consultancy’s Managing Director Sheila Osmanovic personally delivered an engaging live presentation to introduce everyone to the theme of the event. TERRA’s ‘Business Start-up’ video was packed full of additional information, covering topics which included; managing sustained employment, exploiting transferrable skills, promoting your business, using networking events to your best advantage and booking interpreters. TERRA even provided an overview of their latest venture the Terra Sign Academy (TSA), providing tailored British Sign Language and Deaf awareness Training for individuals and companies.
Deafroots Association Outreach Worker, Demsachew Chernet (known in the Deaf community as ‘DW’) provided valuable information regarding the support they provide to the D/deaf community. He gave an insight to the varied help available through Deafroots including; brushing up and tailoring a CV, job searching online, and help in securing voluntary experience to gain those all-important up to date skills.
By far the most rousing of presentations came from individuals sharing their experiences. These presentations highlighted possibilities, by example. Inspiring everyone in attendance, regardless of their starting point, that their dreams could become a reality. Here the event achieved its core aim of showing Deaf people that any new venture is possible. Positivity, determination . . . and of course hard work can get you where you want to be.
Our ‘Signing-Santa’ had his work cut out too!! He endured de-bearding on more than occasion from mischievous children (or was it the Christmas Elves?!). He handed out gift after gift to very excited but mesmerised children. Making the whole experience all the more special for the Deaf children attending, who were able to tell Santa, in their own language, their Christmas wish.
No Christmas event would be complete without a well-earned home-made feast! Specifically prepared vegetarian dishes accompanied hearty barbeque chicken and lamb, and delicious salads, followed by sumptuous chocolate cake. This was a definite ‘hit’ with everyone. This time also provided attendees and presenters to mingle and network. Individual questions were answered before people relaxed and celebrated the festive season, dancing, having fun and spending time with their families.
A huge thanks must go out to TERRA Consultancy and all those staff and volunteers who not only gave up precious pre-Christmas time, but throughout 2016 spent an unimaginable amount of time supporting and educating both Deaf people and service providers. TERRA once again has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and promote a positive Deaf image. Constantly repeating ’We endeavour to meet the interests of our valued Deaf clients’. Staff too have supported this ethos, evident both at this event, and through the work undertaken in 2016 to promote positive work ethics and raise equality for Deaf people. May TERRA continue with dedication to inspire Deaf people to achieve.
But did those attending this event leave feeling positive, ready for a fresh new year and willing to work hard to hit new goals!? For that we shall leave the last comments with them….
“Absolutely brilliant! Couldn’t have organised such a jammed packed evening myself but very happy to have attended”.
“You just don’t know what Deaf people are capable of, constantly surprised by the ideas and suggestions coming from them”
“Who knows who will be presenting or have their own stall next time. Let’s hope there is another event in 2016!”
Watch this space for more Deaf Events!