Kathleen Hankinson (Hearing) PATRON

Having retired from the Committee for health reasons, I am honoured and delighted to be asked to become the Patron of Bromley Chain. As Patron, I can continue to share in the interests of deaf, deafblind and hard-of-hearing people in the borough.

Being born to deaf parents I have the interests of deaf and deafblind people very much at heart. An aunt and uncle were also deaf and our house was visited by many deaf friends. My father was Secretary and later President of FLDC (Federation of London Deaf Clubs). My sister was a classroom assistant with deaf pupils and my daughter is a qualified teacher of deaf children.

After CACDP Stage 3 I undertook interpreting training, a BTEC in Linguistics at ECSTRA Coventry, an RNID course in interpreting in legal situations, two Signs of God courses at Oxford, an English-to-BSL and voice-over course at Bristol University Deaf Studies Unit, and have experience of interpreting at police stations and courts. I also qualified as a deafblind interpreter and supported at a fortnightly club for deafblind people, as well as accompanying them on holiday.


Kathleen's commitment to the Deaf, Deafblind and Hard-of-Hearing people in Bromley:

As a volunteer on Bromley Chain Kathleen interpreted at social events, helped man our charity shop, fund-raising carnival floats and stalls, recycled christmas cards for sale, organised Race Nights, etc. for equipment for deaf adults and children. With us she campaigned passionately over many years for a resource centre which lead to the birth of Deaf Access, Bromley. She supported our involvement with the Churchill Theatre to provide SLIPs, pressurised for transport for senior deaf pupils attending local HIU, for the need for specialist social workers, Deaf Literacy classes and helped us set up a Communication Service for Bromley residents (now administered by AoHL) before which deaf people had no independent person to interpret for them. She eventually persuaded the Education Department to be included in the contract, to the benefit of deaf parents with hearing children at local schools. She represented the charity on Disability Voice, the Sensory Impaired Partnership Group and other bodies and helped update the Bromley Chain Constitution. With others she met the local MP to help raise issues of concern e.g. no emergency Social Services cover for deaf people, lack of communication/understanding in hospitals, police stations, etc. She offered support and encouragement to empower three young second generation deaf committee members, two of whom succeeded her as chairs of Bromley Chain.