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Pcso Helps Support Schools Bid To Turn Alfreton Into Regions First Makaton Friendly Town

One of our Police Community Support Officers has learnt how to communicate using Makaton, as a school in Alfreton has started a mission to make the sign language better used in the community.

PCSO Louise Richards has been working with Alfreton Park Community Special School with their aim aim to make Alfreton the region’s first Makaton friendly town.

As well as learning to understand and speak using Makaton, PCSO Richards is also doing her bit to try and teach other community members basic words and phrases as she meets them.

As well as her role on the Safer Neighbourhood policing team, Louise is also part of the Derbyshire Police Link Officers for the Deaf (PLOD) scheme, which is made up of police officers and police staff who have received training in deaf awareness and are skilled in the use of British Sign Language (BSL) at different levels.

Our PLODs use their skills in providing a service for any non-emergency situation where communication support is required as a point of contact.

PCSO Richards said: “I’m really pleased to be part of this fantastic initiative which gives deaf young people and others in the community the opportunity to communicate directly with me and for me to be able to build a good relationship with Makaton signers, and there to offer support if they need it.

“It would be great if the school manages to achieve its aim, and I would encourage everyone to get along. Anyone can learn Makaton, and all they need to do is just pop in to some of the local shops and businesses, contact the schools or even speak to me when I’m out and about and I can try and teach you some sign to get you started.”

Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate. It is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order. With Makaton, children and adults can communicate straight away using signs and symbols.

The school is offering training to anyone in the community who is interested, and ten local shops and organisations have signed up. Once 30 have come on board, Alfreton will become the first Makaton friendly town in the region, and only the third in the country.

You can find out more about the work of our Derbyshire Constabulary PLODs on their Facebook page,

21 July | Amber Sound FM News


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