Fundraising News: Grants

Giver: Department of Health, Section 64 funds for voluntary organisations supporting health and social care goals

Recipient: Sign ... the national society for mental health and deafness

Amount: £85,000 over three years

Herbert Klein, project manager ...

What is the project and when will it start? The Deaf Patient Involvement project is a training programme for 30 deaf people who want to become health mentors to support their communities. They will be trained to increase their awareness of health-related issues and rights to access and equality.

We hope the project will enable more deaf people to use their experiences to improve local NHS services for deaf people. The first training course will begin in February 2005 and the funding covers salary costs.

Do you need further funding to set up the project? We would like £60,000 to extend this project across England.

We have enough funding to cover London, Manchester and Leeds, but we already have interest from other deaf groups that want to join our programme. We were fortunate enough to obtain these funds in good time. The John Ellerman Foundation also gave £12,500 to the project.

Why do you think this bid has been successful? We believe that the Department of Health understands the importance of empowering deaf people. We think the best people to do this are health mentors who are deaf. The mentors will also represent deaf people by being involved in their local patient and public involvement forums, to ensure that the local deaf community's interests are focused on.

The forums are not yet fully accessible to deaf people because they are quite new and their members don't reflect the make-up of the areas they represent. We are only aware of three deaf people who are represented on any of these forums in England.

Was the application a simple process? With our strong evidence outlining the need for this project we found the application process straightforward and time-effective.

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