Express & Star

Cannock & District Ladies Probus Club 'privileged' to learn sign language

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Signing “very good” using double thumbs and big smiles are Pam Clarke and Sheila Smith, with guest speaker Glynis Myles, Anne Bumford, Glenis Venables and Avril Williams

Members were privileged to be introduced to 'a new language' following a tasty meal of braised beef, which melted in your mouth, followed by lemon posset and tangy sorbet to finish a two-course meal; which offered a choice of fish, meat and vegetarian option. Cannock Golf Club welcomed Glynis Myles, not to entertain but to teach the basics of Makaton, a sign language, before an interactive session where the whole Club joined in with music.

Glynis explained her journey, to use this language, accessible to everyone. It not only aids those with hearing problems but children, adults and disabled, as a communication tool beneficial across the board. Anyone with a speech impediment may have low or no confidence or be unable to speak at all but is given a voice.

Unable to join in starting a new job, Glynis felt inadequate so, many years ago attended college to learn to sign. Going to karaoke for the deaf was wonderful, with people signing Elvis and Tina Turner songs. Her life then changed, learning to communicate through visual signs. Although, within her work services were being reduced, Glynis reached into residential and daycare, where they were unable to sign.

Now, as Halas Homes Choir leader, her singing group puts on amazing events performing at Symphony and Town Halls, in Birmingham. Promoting and teaching through clubs, always ending singing a song by signing. Communication could be a problem; schools teach children Makaton but not parents so, Glynis teaches locally, welcoming all to fun sessions. Makaton signs are kept to a minimum, compared to spoken words, as long as the meaning is communicated.

The June meeting involves; Fin ‘Dogs for the Blind.’ Retired or Semi-Retired, professional or business ladies meet on the first Thursday each month at The Chase Golf Club, 12 noon, to share a meal, fellowship and speakers with outings and other activities. New members are welcome: Annual membership £16 and two course lunch £22. Further information contact membership secretary Barbara on 01889 882166 or chairman Anne 01922 418037.

By Alison Cardy - Contributor

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