Call to help deaf charity to £30,000 TV windfall

A CHILDREN'S charity based in Northampton will compete in The People's Millions TV contest next Thursday for the chance to win almost £30,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

Talking With Hands' Expanding Horizons, a charity supporting the town's deaf young people, is calling on the public to pledge their support – and their votes – in next week's TV showdown.

The contest will see two projects go head-to-head each night next week on ITV Anglia evening news. At the end of the week five projects will have won a slice of 250,000 of Lottery good cause cash. On Thursday, Talking With Hands will battle it out with the Luton Road Sports Field project in Barton-le-Clay, Bedfordshire.

Anglia Television will come to the town this Saturday to film the charity at work, along with Lorna Fitzgerald – EastEnders' Abi Branning – who supports its work.

The charity helps about 100 five to 19-year-olds and the windfall would provide opportunities for them to benefit from cultural activities, which may otherwise be unavailable to them because of their disability. If they win the grant, the group will be able to take them on theatre and museum trips and to sporting events in and around the county supported by sign language interpreters.

Charity volunteer Rose-Ann O'Malley said: "We're really hoping Northampton gets behind us and that something good will come out of it. We'd be so grateful for the support and the children would be really proud. Please call the line and vote for us."

She said the cause could easily get overlooked by the public, adding that hearing impairment was often misunderstood.

She said: "Communication is so important.

"When someone is deaf, it doesn't just affect that individual. It affects their family and their friends and touches on every aspect of life."

On Tuesday, November 24, the Rowan Gate Primary School's modernisation of hydrotherapy pool project – to make its facilities more accessible to people with physical and mental disabilities or injuries – in Wellingborough, will also take part. The project will compete for votes against the Cottenham Community Centre's Church to Community Coffee Shop project.