Bolton’s Deaf community thank you
Charity workers reveal how the National Lottery funds helped change his life.
Imagine you’ve grown up to be unable to understand the people around you and communicate in ways other than gestures.
This was the world that Philip Bridge faced as a child after he was born with a hereditary disease called Waardenburg Syndrome.
“My family didn’t know sign language, so they were talking to each other and I couldn’t attend,” says Philip. “Mom did her best to talk to me, but it was difficult for us to understand each other. I wanted to participate, but I felt left behind.
“I ended up playing a lot on my own. I was frustrated and really struggled. I went to a mainstream school where it was difficult to make friends, so I just played soccer with the kid next door.”
Philip, now 42, was 16 when he started learning British Sign Language. That’s when he started to bloom.
“I was studying sign language at the University of Bolton when my friend recommended me to join the Bolton Hearing Loss Association (BDS),” he says. “I was pretty shocked at first because I hadn’t had much connection with the Deaf community, but it was great to suddenly make friends. We went out to pubs and other hearing-impaired clubs in groups and together. I felt it was safer to be in. “
Lotto’s jackpot draws at £ 5.4m tonight after no winner of the EuroMillions Grand Prize
SourceLotto’s jackpot draws at £ 5.4m tonight after no winner of the EuroMillions Grand Prize