2020 Reflection

2020 certainly has been different and challenge year and we are not into COVID-normal yet. There are still restrictions in place such as contact rules, travel and in particular sport participation. The pandemic has had a significant impact on us all in many different ways – family, work, socialising, community, sport participation and personal mental health and wellbeing.

The Board, Staff and I hope you are all healthy, safe and able to manage the limitations we have. Please continue to take care, follow the guidance and look out for those at risk or need support.

Looking back over the last 12 months, while we have had to change how we worked while managing the pandemic, we have still been able to make some significant achievements. Our online programme #deafactiveonline has been very well received and we look to deliver further classes and activities in the new year. We continue to work with our key partners and have attended a number of events to share views and recommendations on how to improve accessibility for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people within sports and physical activity opportunities.

Reminding you of our ‘Return to Sport’ information which outlines guidelines provided by Government and relevant organisations – please continue to check online this information. We hope that you will be able to enjoy a better sport experience and enjoyment in 2021 and we look forward to supporting you in any way we can.

Our team has expanded delivering important work which is very much needed. Beate, our Diversity Officer started six weeks ago and is making great progress with our Sport England Deaf Women and Girls project. I am really looking forward to seeing this work develop over the next year. Lydia, our intern started in August this year and has been leading on the Athlete Leadership Group which is growing, and we will be continuing to support in the new year.

Hannah has been instrumental in leading our work online and engaging with our members which will be supported and developed in the new year. Lastly, our admin support officer Lizzy continues to provide structure to the organisation and support to me with our Governance. Thank you to them all.

I would like to note the efforts and hard work of Tyron Woolfe who left the organisation last week. Our Comic Relief project was led by Tyron and we have seen a great level of engagement online through our #deafstayinworkout programme. All the best to Tyron in his new role.

Congratulations to Richard Weinbaum and his team at DSPY for delivering a fantastic online award this year and many congratulations to all the Winners – such an amazing achievement!

Next year we have lots planned including our open forum engagement events so please do look out for more details on this.

Keep in touch and have a very safe and Happy Christmas,

Valerie Copenhagen

Executive Director

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