A group of 13 deaf young activists met at thestudio conference centre in Birmingham to attend intensive workshops and discuss their future campaigns.

The group, who hail from all over England, are members of the National Deaf Children’s Society’s ChangeMaker programme, which supports and mentors deaf young people to make improvements in their local communities.


During the day, they attended workshops about the history of campaigning and how to structure their campaigns. They also had a discussion with the charity’s Policy and Campaigns team about their experiences of audiology services and how they might be improved.

They also looked at possible areas for future campaigning, deciding to prioritise disability inclusion and deaf awareness in education, along with climate action and the subtitling of cinema films. The group then wound down with an escape room experience at Escape Hunt in Birmingham Central.

ChangeMaker Helen, 16, from Maidenhead, said: “It was amazing to get together and meet in person. Being in a group means we have a stronger force to influence change for other deaf people.

“I didn’t know many deaf people before, but since starting with ChangeMakers I feel more a part of the deaf community. We’re going to work together to help influence change in issues that matter to us.

“Being a ChangeMaker is important to me as I’ve faced adversity, discrimination and bullying in my life. I’ve used all those experiences to light a spark of fire in me to campaign, so other deaf and disabled people won’t have to go through what I’ve gone through.”

Claire Berwick, Senior Participation Officer at the National Deaf Children’s Society, said: “We formed the ChangeMakers so that deaf children and young people could drive positive change in their communities, and it was wonderful to see such passion and commitment on display today.

“The day was designed so they could all get together and channel that passion into action. They learnt how to campaign so they can enhance and improve the lives and prospects of deaf children across the country – and of course have some fun too.”