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Romford woman wins award for incredible contribution to the deaf community

PUBLISHED: 10:00 01 November 2019

Paul Needham presented Mel Demetriou, 24, from Romford with her award for helping deaf people. Picture: National Deaf Children’s Society

Paul Needham presented Mel Demetriou, 24, from Romford with her award for helping deaf people. Picture: National Deaf Children's Society

Archant

A young volunteer from Romford was presented with a special award which recognised her dedication to supporting people in the deaf community.

Mel Demetriou is among five outstanding volunteers who were given an award by the National Deaf Children's Society at a ceremony in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Birmingham on Saturday, October 26.

The 24-year-old is profoundly deaf in her right ear and she scooped the Youth Support Volunteer Communicator of the Year award in recognition of her work for the charity.

Mel said: "I love Volunteering for the National Deaf Children's Society because not only do you meet amazing people and participate in fantastic activities but nothing beats seeing a deaf child come to an event feeling under-confident and then leaving on the final day with a huge smile on their face because they have been able to participate in activities they normally wouldn't be able to access.

"I am thrilled to receive the Communicator of the Year award.

"It means the world to me that I have been recognised for doing something I love."

Mel earned her prize for being "the glue that holds the whole team together".

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She was presented with her award by Paul Needham, the National Deaf Children's Society's head of volunteering.

He said: "I want to congratulate Mel on this well-deserved award.

"She has been an inspirational ambassador for the National Deaf Children's Society.

"Mel has a great rapport with young people, and is very supportive and encouraging of new volunteers, taking them under her wing.

"She does everything she can to keep events running smoothly."

Youth Support Volunteer Communicators assist communication by translating between English and British Sign Language for children and young people, volunteers and staff.

They also work as part of a team to support, encourage and supervise deaf children and young people to fully participate in activities.

Mr Needham added: "We couldn't do what we do without the fantastic support of volunteers like Mel.

"Not only is their work transformative for the families of deaf children, but they are also powerful advocates of our work to support the UK's 50,000 deaf children."

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