On the back of Eastender Rose Lucinda Ayling-Ellis’ success on Strictly Come Dancing, the Deafness Resource Centre (DRC) in St Helens & Halton celebrates another win for the deaf community.

DRC is celebrating after employing local freelance graphic designer Lyn Lowe of WhisperCreative to create a VideoScribe animation that told the story of a young D/deaf* boy – Benny – who is struggling with social isolation.

You can view the winning animation by clicking here.

Benny finds support and community at DRC’s Youth Club, and throughout the story, we journey with him as he gains friendship and confidence in his new community.

The animation was entered into the prestigious international competition at the end of 2021 and was chosen from thousands of entries as the winner in the Best Story category.
Lyn, who lives in the Halton area, said of the win: “I’m feeling humbled and overwhelmed to have won, but this is so much bigger than me.

“It’s a win for deaf young people who were pivotal in creating the story; it’s a win for DRC, and most importantly, the deaf community.

“I loved working on the project and hope that the video helps to spread the word to more young people who aren’t aware of the support available to them in their local area”.

As someone who has learned British Sign Language (BSL), designer Lyn is passionate about creating visual communications that speak to a range of audiences.

However, involving young D/deaf people in the project was the real key to success. Two Zoom workshops were held where young people who attend the DRC Youth Club were asked to contribute to the script, draw up ideas for characters and scenes and help bring the story’s characters to life.

Their commitment and enthusiasm for the project shone through, and two were willing to step up to do the voiceovers for the video, giving the finished piece a truly authentic feel.

Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Marie Wright, said: “We recognise the need for accessible formats, and this video has achieved this for the community.

“The video was created with voiceovers for people who can hear or have visual impairments.

“BSL translation was included for people who use BSL, and also captions for those who can’t hear and don’t know BSL.”

Videoscribe was thrilled to receive a heartfelt entry, sharing: “When it comes to storytelling, there was one clear winner. We loved Lyn’s story for the Deafness Resource Centre, showing how their resources can transform the lives of young people who are D/deaf.”

Halton Sensory Service is a partnership with Deafness Resource Centre, Vision Support and Halton Borough Council. If you are D/deaf or Hard of Hearing it offers a range of services including Children and Families Services, Equipment to support Independence, Advocacy, Training & Awareness and a Communication Service.

Contact Halton Sensory Service on: 0151 511 8801 – or call into the centre: 126 Widnes Road, WA8 6AX (Mon-Friday 9am-4pm)

The ICAN project, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, is part of a five-year grant to expand support services for families and children across the Merseyside region.

Existing services covering St Helens, Knowsley and Halton are funded through BBC Children in Need.

*D/deaf is a collective term used to describe people who are profoundly deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or deafblind.

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