Steven Fisher
Steven Fisher

A group is being set up for deaf people and those who are hard of hearing so they can meet and exchange information.

The group is the brainchild of Mr Steven Fisher, of Bingham, who was spurred into action after finding out that the closest group was in Nottingham.

After a social media appeal The Wheatsheaf pub, Long Acre, Bingham, has offered its function room free of charge for monthly meetings.

Mr Fisher has two hearing aids after suffering significant hearing problems that developed when he worked for an engineering firm in his native Halifax around 40 years ago.

Prior to receiving the hearing aids he often felt isolated when attending social functions as he could not be part of the conversation.

“I would ‘stand back’ because I couldn’t hear people,” said Mr Fisher, 60.

“I would see people laughing and I would get a bit paranoid, wondering what they were laughing at. I would wonder if they were laughing at me.

“I would sit there for a bit and then tell my wife that I would be going home. I felt like an outcast, basically.

“The problems dated back even to when I got married, which was in 1987. I could see that people were talking and making speeches, but I couldn’t really hear what they were saying.

“With this group, I think it is more comfortable for people to turn up.

“Originally I wanted to practise BSL (British Sign Language) but it has developed into more of a social club.

“Once people had seen the idea on Facebook, there were plenty who said they would love to come. There are now more than 40 who are interested in the group.”

'I am hoping that the club will develop'

The group is open to all, including those who want to take children along.

“People will be with old and new friends,” said Mr Fisher, who has lived in the town for 30 years and works as a cleaner.

“I am hoping that the club will develop. One woman contacted me who is not deaf, but one of her relatives is and she wants to practise sign language.

“We will have a quiet area and somewhere for people to play games.

“In time I may ask those who are at Nottingham Deaf Society to come over and give information about sign language and welfare.”

Jane Costello, the Deputy Mayor of Bingham, will formally open the group at its first meeting on Saturday, February 24.

The group will meet on the last Saturday of each month, from 1pm to 5pm.