A thank you from Bolton’s deaf community
The charity worker reveals how sponsoring the National Lottery has helped change his life.
Imagine growing up unable to understand the people around you and have no way to communicate except through gestures.
This is the world Philip Bridge faced as a child after being born with a genetic disorder called Waardenburg syndrome, which left him profoundly deaf.
“My family doesn’t know sign language, so they would talk to each other and I couldn’t participate,” Philip said. “Mom tried her best to talk to me, but it was hard for us to understand each other. I wanted to join but felt left out.
“I played alone a lot – I was frustrated and really struggled. I went to a mainstream school where it was difficult to make friends, so I just wanted to play football with the kid next to me. “
Philip is 42 years old, 16 years old when he started learning British Sign Language, this is also when he started to develop.
“I was studying sign language at the University of Bolton when a friend recommended that I join the Bolton Deaf Society (BDS),” he said. “At first, I was quite shocked because I didn’t have many connections with the Deaf community before, but it was amazing to suddenly make friends. We went in groups to pubs and other Deaf clubs and felt safer together. ”
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