School for deaf children rebrands as Seashell Trust

A 185-year-old charity for deaf children in north-west England has been renamed to reflect its changing services.

The Royal School for the Deaf and Communication Disorders has changed its name to the Seashell Trust. A launch event will be held today to mark the new name of the charity, based in Cheadle, Cheshire.

Hilary Ward, principal and chief executive of the charity, said: "We felt it was no longer appropriate for everything to come under the umbrella title of a ‘school'. Our emphasis now is very much on working with our students rather than providing things for them. It was felt that our name had become somewhat out of date."

Only half the students at the school are of college age, and it now works with young people with a wide range of disabilities. In January 2009 it also plans to start a residency scheme for adults who are former pupils of the school.

The trust was started in 1823 and was given royal patronage by Queen Victoria in 1897, her diamond jubilee year.

Because Queen Elizabeth II is patron of the charity, approval for the name change had to be given by the Ministry of Justice.

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