PUPILS from a Coventry deaf school who launched a campaign to encourage more hearing-impaired people to get active have earned a national award for it.
The drive has brought about real change with a Leamington Spa leisure centre adopting some of its areas to be more friendly for deaf people.
Let’s Get Active was created by children from the Hearing Impaired Unit at Howes Primary School and earlier this evening it was named joint winners in the Sheila McKechnie National Campaigner Awards.
The accolade was shared with The REAL Group which has campaigned for social services to improve the way it supports young sexual abuse survivors.
Let’s Get Active was founded last year during Coventry’s year as European City of Sport to encourage deaf children to become more active.
The youngsters visited sports and leisure venues in Coventry to interview staff and make videos to show deaf young people what going to them was like.
The pupils received support from the National Deaf Children’s Society which paid their transport costs and funded multimedia skills training.
During their first visit to Newbold Comyn Leisure Centre, the pupils realised their work had the potential to have a much greater impact than simply reporting on what it was like at various sports venues.
The centre’s manager was so impressed with the young people’s approach he opened discussions about how he could make the leisure centre more welcoming for deaf young people.
Changes were made to the entrance, swimming pools, climbing centre and sports halls.
The young people’s films were then launched at a special ceremony with the Lord Mayor of Coventry.
The SMK National Campaigner Awards celebrate the best campaigns and campaigners which are making a real difference to communities, either locally or nationally.