Hornchurch man sets up social media project to encourage people to learn British Sign Language
PUBLISHED: 10:00 23 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:11 23 January 2019
A 27-year-old man has launched a social media project in a bid to teach sign language to the masses.
Bobby Izzard, of Rockingham Avenue, Hornchurch, set up Project BSLUK (British Sign Language UK) earlier this month on Facebook and Instagram, posting short daily lessons to introduce the basic hand gestures needed to start learning the life skill.
He said: “There is a whole deaf community that often goes unseen in mainstream life which has a lot to do with people not knowing how to do sign language.
“The importance of it is one thing but how handy it is as well - excuse the pun - and how it can enrich your life and those around you are other great reasons to start learning.”
Bobby, who has been working in hospitality for several years, first noticed the issue when he was a floor manager at the Shepherd and Dog in Harold Wood last year.
“There was a group of deaf people who regularly came in and a few of us thought we’d start to make a bit of effort and learn how to say basic things like “please”, “thank you”, “would you like any water?” and it just went from there.
“I realised how few people know British Sign Language and wanted to encourage more to learn.”
After setting up a Go Fund Me page asking for donations to help create the videos, along with help from a British Sign Language specialist, he already has more than 800 followers and says he is determined to try and make the skill accessible to everyone.
Bobby said: “I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination so that’s why in the videos, you see me being taught level 1 and a bit of level 2 BSL (British Sign Language).
“The videos are there to get more people interested in learning it, rather than teaching you everything you need to know.
“I am really proud of how it’s gone so far and will carry on promoting it as much as possible.”
Visit Project BSLUK on Facebook or @projectblsuk on Instagram.