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Saturday, 26 September 2020

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The challenges of taking up a new role during lock down

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STARTING a new role when the country is in lockdown might not seem the perfect way to begin but for David Tatham joining a charity which has always embraced technology has smoothed the way.

Auditory Verbal UK’s newly appointed Trusts and Foundations Manager said his first few weeks have been ‘surprisingly easy to engage with the wider team, and hugely enjoyable’ despite not yet setting foot in the charity’s Bermondsey office or meeting any of his colleagues in person since his interview.

David has more than two decades of experience in the voluntary sector and was attracted to the charity because he could see the organization was all about ‘making a real difference to real people.’

A father of two with a passion for motorbikes and gardening, David explained:

“AVUK provides a very practical intervention to a specific challenge. The evidence is there to see that it works and the outcomes are quite remarkable.”

Highly specialised Auditory Verbal therapists work with the families of deaf children through an early intervention parent-coaching programme that enables deaf children to learn to listen and speak and with the aim of ensuring ensure these children have the same opportunities as their hearing peers. 80 per cent of children who attend an AVUK programme for at least two years have age-appropriate speech and language and the majority attend mainstream school.

AVUK has long been an advocate of new technologies and although the majority of sessions usually take place at the London and Oxford centres, it has offered its programme via video technology to ensure access to the service for more deaf children and their families across the UK and abroad. Read more here https://www.avuk.org/telepractice. Since the lockdown, all families on the AVUK programme have been supported via online platforms.

In such strange times, David knows there are many challenges.

Regular meetings via Skype and Zoom have helped smooth David’s introduction to the team and his new role which he took up at the beginning of April. He said:

“I genuinely feel I’m getting to know people and already feel part of the team. The online meetings have allowed me to get into the job very quickly and it just feels like business as usual.

“Of course this situation is going to change the funding landscape and it will be about adapting, prioritising and identifying new opportunities.

“Ultimately I want to raise the profile of Auditory Verbal UK among the trusts and foundations who don’t already know about the life-changing work we are doing so that they then start coming to us as leaders in the field nationally.”

Read more about how Trusts and Foundations help the work of AVUK and help create a sound future for deaf children https://www.avuk.org/trusts-and-foundations.

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