New photography group for deaf people launched in Newry & Mourne

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Monday, October 26th, 2015
Community, What's On
The Southern Health and Social Care Trust in partnership with Arts Care has set up a new photography group for deaf people living in the Newry and Mourne Area.
Members and organisers of the new Photography Group for Deaf people in the Newry and Mourne area Hugh McCartan, Angela Mallon, Paul Davidson, John Leneghan and Sandra McCartan with Eilish Kilgallon Community Access Officer and Gwen Stevenson Arts Care Artist in Residence.

Members and organisers of the new Photography Group for Deaf people in the Newry and Mourne area: Hugh McCartan, Angela Mallon, Paul Davidson, John Leneghan and Sandra McCartan with Eilish Kilgallon Community Access Officer and Gwen Stevenson Arts Care Artist in Residence

There are 300,000 people in Northern Ireland who are deaf, have a hearing loss or tinnitus. Set up in partnership with Artscare, the photography group aims to offer people with hearing loss to develop an interest, while reducing social isolation and promoting positive mental health and wellbeing. Pat McAteer, Specialist Services Manager for the Trust explained, “Having a hearing impairment can be a huge barrier for people, making it much more difficult to do things that many of us would take for granted, like pursuing an education, working or even just enjoying leisure activities. “Our Community Access Service aims to help people with hearing loss to avail of a wide range of activities to fulfil their interests or ambitions, whether they be in terms of training, their career or socially,” he added. Paul Davison is an aspiring photographer who has joined the photography group. “I love photography and I was keen to learn more about it but I wasn’t sure where I could go to learn or how I would be supported,” he said. “This photography group has given me great support and an opportunity to develop my skills.” Gwen Stevenson, Arts Care, artist in residence for the Trust and photography class tutor added, “I have been working as an artist in residence with the Trust for a few years and I have worked with people with a range of disabilities but this is the first time I have had the opportunity to work exclusively with deaf people in a group setting and I am overwhelmed by their skill and enthusiasm.” The Community Access Service is working with a wide range of clients from across Armagh, Dungannon, Craigavon, Banbridge and Newry and Mourne, to help them overcome their hearing difficulties to access activities and services. The photography class takes place on Thursday mornings 10.30 – 12.30 in the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre Newry. For more information contact: Eilish Kilgallon, Community Access Officer for Deaf People – Email: eilish.kilgallon@southerntrust.hscni.net – Tel: 07841102251.

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