An enterprising deaf woman is transforming the current global lockdown into an inspiring opportunity to develop a new skill while reaching out to people with hearing loss.
Kelly-Ann Lamb has teamed up with her sister Natasha to start sharing a video every day – posted on YouTube and Facebook – to teach people the basics of sign language.
In each daily 15-minute film, Kelly-Ann – who lives in Reside supported housing in Langley Moor, County Durham – teaches Natasha and the viewers different elements of British Sign Language (BSL).
Natasha, aged 26, explains: “While the country is in lockdown and schools are shut, now is the perfect time for children and adults to learn a new skill.
“Learning sign language is a great way to bring families together, while helping to break down communication barriers with people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
“We have to make the best of the current challenging situation we all face, and we hope our videos will help people to do that.”
32-year-old Kelly-Ann said: “I am really enjoying spending time with my sister, while being able to share my skills and help others at this difficult time.”
After going live on Monday (23 March), the first of the films – being posted at 1pm each day – clocked up over 40,000 views within 24 hours.
Niki Duffy, Kelly-Ann’s Tenant Support Officer at Reside, said: “The idea is to help not only adults but also children learn a new skill while they are isolated at home.
“When everything seems so bleak at the moment, I think what Kelly-Ann and Natasha are doing is an amazing, lovely gesture. We are so proud of them.”
Reside Chief Executive Diane French added: “People with sensory impairments can often feel isolated from others, so this initiative is a great example of how something good can come out of a very difficult situation. I am certainly going to listen in as often as I can.
“At Reside we pride ourselves on working with our tenants, and their families, to give them the choice and support they need to live as independently as possible.”