Campaigners have launched a crowdfunding bid to save Cornwall’s last centre for the deaf from closure.Cornwall Deaf Centre in Camborne could fold unless financial support is found to help contend with the centre’s escalating costs.Centre secretary Jackie Goldie said: “It would be a hammer blow if Cornwall Deaf Centre was to shut and horrendous for all our users.”
Concerned users have been quick to back a Crowdfunding campaign to try and secure its long-term future. It has been set up by Carleen Collins, one of the sign language interpreters for Cornwall, who operates at the centre.
She said: “It is the only centre for deaf people in the county, and a place where deaf people can meet and communicate in sign language.
“The centre receives no regular funding or grants from anywhere and if the doors close, that is the end of the luncheon club, social events, bingo, Christmas parties for deaf children, and the escape from the very often isolated (hearing) world users live in.”
The centre holds numerous functions, provides training for interpreters and also hosts a deaf church so that deaf people are given the opportunity to practice their faith, as a hearing person would.
The centre re-opened in 2013 after an 18-month refurbishment. Major problems were discovered with the roof and the electrics and with no money available, centre bosses had to launch an appeal, DIY Deaf -O-S, for support. More than £14,000 was donated in time and materials from locals and the Camborne business community.
Ms Goldie said that the threat of closure is very real.
“We receive no funding and survive largely from membership fees paid by the users,” she said.
“The centre used to get grants from the council and pays no council tax, but due to cuts this is no longer the case. It is the only centre of its kind in Cornwall so it’s absolutely vital it stays open.”She said that plumbing and heating costs have eaten away at resources. The centre holds events to raise money.Ms Goldie added that the centre will not be giving up without a fight with users and staff doing everything they can to try and raise funds, starting with a garden party for the Queen’s birthday and a bric-a-brac sale on June 18.
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