Weston Museum is currently closed to the public.

Jane Hill’s Community Exhibition report is on the project with the Multi-Cultural Friendship Association (MFA) whose patron is the Mayor of Weston-super-Mare. The purposes of the organisation are given as: to provide social occasions for people to meet and exchange their experiences of living in a new country, as well as learning about other people’s traditions, customs and beliefs; to promote friendship, mutual respect and understanding between people of different cultures living in Weston-super-Mare and the surrounding areas; to help people develop friendships and social networks across the divides of culture, race and nationality; and to share the traditions, customs and cultures of different countries with the people of Weston-super-Mare and the surrounding areas, in order to promote diversity and shared learning in a positive way. There are references to: the project’s colourful display of objects from around the world, all kindly lent by members of the local community; a film show created by the MFA and museum volunteer Chris Fisher; hearing the many and varied stories of members of the MFA community; and lookjng forward to sharing these on the museum’s website blog.

Jane Hill is available to give a FREE talk about the history and present work of Weston Museum. This is a PowerPoint presentation which is 45 minutes long, with time for questions afterwards. Community groups interested may contact jane.hill@wsm-tc.gov.uk.

Bridie Collier’s report is on the 3rd–9th May Deaf Awareness Week (DAW). Bridie is a volunteer at Citizens Advice North Somerset (CANS). She is the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Campaigner and works with the Deaf Community to make sure that CANS services are accessible to them. For the last 7 years, Citizens Advice have been working with the local Deaf Community and partners (NSC Social Workers, Vision NS/Hearing Loss, RNID, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, Sense, and BSL/Deaf Awareness/ lipreading tutors to mark DAW with a week of events. This year’s exhibition in the Community Gallery at the Museum to coincide with the Week had to be postponed because of the lockdown, and so there is a virtual DAW for the second year running. The theme set by the UK Council on Deafness this year is “Coming through it together”, reflecting the journey through the pandemic, feeling isolated with face-to-face contact being replaced by ‘phoning friends and family and holding meetings over Zoom. For the Deaf or hard of hearing, virtual communication is more challenging and going out for essential shopping or health appointments sees everyone wearing masks, which makes lipreading impossible. DAW has two aims, to publicise the social groups (Communication Café, Hard of Hearing Group, Friday Group, Deaf Pub and Deaf Church) that will be starting up again soon, and to publicise the organisations providing specialist services. Just as important is raising Deaf Awareness amongst the general public. If you meet a person who is Deaf:

Face the person whilst you are speaking

Don’t turn away

Repeat yourself if necessary

Never say ‘It doesn’t matter’

If the person doesn’t understand you, don’t give up!

Write it down or draw a picture

Speak one at a time, don’t talk over each other

Keep your mouth visible

Smile and relax

Don’t speak too quickly or too slowly

Bridie hopes that next year in May 2022 there will be an exhibition in the Community Gallery at the Museum to mark Deaf Awareness Week.

For more details: please contact bridie.collier@nscab.org.uk, ‘phone 01934 836226 or look on the website for www.nscab.org.uk/DAW2021.

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