Campbeltown Pupils support UK Deaf Awareness Week

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Castlehill schoolchildren signed their support for two fellow pupils who experience deafness.

On Monday, pupils in P4/5, including Samuel McEachran, 9, and Jade McCallum, 9, who are deaf, staged a bake sale during both breaks, raising £237.11 for the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS).

During the sale to mark Deaf Awareness Week, Samuel, Jade and Samuel’s mum Carol McEachran talked about school life for a deaf pupil. Later, Martine Craig, whose Dalintober pupil son Gregor is also deaf, talked about her experience.

Jade said: ‘I can hear but not as well as other children. The hardest thing is out in the playground. I like to bake, and made coconut truffles for today’s sale.’

Samuel, who wears hearing aids full-time, added: ‘It is hardest when everybody is shouting. When Miss Semple is teaching she uses a radio aid and I only hear her voice.’

Mrs McEachran added: ‘NDCS were delighted that we were running this event. I also come into school and have been teaching the pupils how to sign, which is most useful in places like the swimming pool.

‘Samuel’s deafness is called conductive, so it comes and goes.

‘In lessons he swaps his regular hearing aids for radio hearing aids which are supplied on the NHS. The head teacher, Richard Long, also uses the radio aid during assembly. Samuel sits at the front during lessons as well.’

NDCS campaigns across the UK to remove the barriers that deaf children face and also runs special events such as family days.

Mrs McEachran said: ‘When we first went to a NDCS family day one of the secondary children said: “If I can see your face I can hear you.”

‘The days give a lot of confidence-building opportunities.’

Mrs Craig added: ‘Gregor was born in Campbeltown but was very premature, by 24 weeks, and his deafness is bi-lateral. He has become a very good speaker and also signs and is passionate to promote British Sign Language. He has been taking swimming lessons at Aqualibrium since he was four.

‘On the Live Argyll Kintyre Facebook page Gregor features in a video of ‘Sign of the Week’.