Monday December 16 2019

Manchester's Deaf Centre gets the gift that keeps on giving

Just in time for Christmas an internet service thats more than 300 times faster than standard broadband has been installed at The Deaf Centre in Manchester which will dramatically help local people with hearing problems.

Manchester's Deaf Centre gets the gift that keeps on giving

Thanks to a gift from The Loop, one of Manchester’s largest independent fibre networks, The Deaf Centre’s members will now enjoy reliable videotelephony technology such as FaceTime which will make communication easier, as they can see the person’s face and therefore use their lip reading and sign language skills.

The 10 Gig capable internet service, using ‘gigabit’ next generation fibre has been provided free of charge by The Loop as part of its Social Value partnership with Manchester City Council. The local authority now places significant importance on the value that its suppliers return to the local community and in this instance the commitment enables The Deaf Centre’s members to connect and network more effectively.

The Manchester Deaf Centre, an independent charity on Booth St East off Oxford Road in Manchester, is the largest organisation in Greater Manchester dedicated to people with hearing loss.  The centre provides support to more than 200 people on a weekly basis from teenagers to the over 50s. The charity has 14 staff and 28 volunteers.  Not only is it a social hub, the centre also offers a range of courses including driving theory and first aid as well as British Sign Language and hearing awareness training. The centre runs a job club, well-being group and has a sign choir.   In addition to helping people who are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and deafblind, they also provide support for those with Tinnitus.

Ashley Griffiths, Managing Director of The Loop said: “When the City Council made us aware that The Deaf Centre was struggling to get a reliable internet connection, we really wanted to help and include this as part of our social value contribution. This is a game changer for them as their users can now FaceTime as much as they want. The centre can also offer our premium internet service to corporate clients who want to hire the rooms, which will help generate more income for the charity. This is a fantastic organisation for The Loop to support.”

Allan Sharp, Chair of Trustees for The Deaf Centre said: “To have reliable internet will make such a huge difference to our members and is an amazing Christmas gift. FaceTime is a great way for users to communicate with their friends, relatives and peers as seeing the face allows them to read the lips.  Or they can sign to each other. We rent out rooms to generate extra revenue, so offering reliable internet makes them more attractive for meetings and this will help us bring in more money for the charity.”

Councillor Carl Ollerhead, Executive Member for Finance and Human Resources at Manchester City Council said: “This is an excellent partnership which demonstrates the importance the City Council places on social value from its suppliers. The Loop’s team have gone to great lengths to ensure The Deaf Centre could be connected to their ultrafast internet network and it’s wonderful to see it making an impact already.”

Elaine Robino, a member of the Job Club at The Manchester Deaf Centre said: “I was frustrated when applying or searching for jobs on the internet. It wasn’t easy because the Wi-Fi connection was very slow and I had to constantly reconnect and try again. Now we have the new Wi-Fi connection from The Loop life is a lot easier. This is a lovely way to celebrate Christmas and we’ll enjoy the benefit for years to come.”

The Loop has more than 188 km of dark fibre under the streets of Manchester and offers connectivity to all of Manchester’s leading datacentres and also links Manchester’s main commercial districts including Manchester city centre, the Northern Quarter, Manchester Science Park and MediaCityUK. It also connects to more than seventy key buildings including Manchester Central Library, The Sharp Project, and Space Studios. 

For more information on The Loop visit theloopmanchester.co.uk or call 0333 004 4222. For more information on The Manchester Deaf Centre visit http://www.manchesterdeafcentre.com/

"To have reliable internet will make such a huge difference to our members. FaceTime is a great way for users to communicate with their friends, relatives and peers. "
Allan Sharp, Chair of Trustees for The Deaf Centre

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