In 2001 Catherine Hegarty, a specialist nursery nurse, started a signing choir as an after school club at Knotty Ash Primary school where she works. The aim of the choir was to translate popular songs into sign language, providing an activity where both deaf and hearing children could come together, socialize and perform. This provided an opportunity for deaf children to have access to the lyrics of the wide range of songs enjoyed by hearing children and an opportunity for hearing children to develop their signing skills – a truly inclusive collaboration!
The choir attracted interest from pupils from across the city – membership grew and the choir went from strength to strength. In 2009 with the support of parents the transition of the choir from an after school club to “The Liverpool Signing Choir” took place. The Liverpool Signing Choir is now an integral part of the city of Liverpool’s diverse, cultural landscape. The signing choir provides an inclusive platform on which young people from all walks of life can perform. In 2010 Catherine Hegarty was awarded an MBE for services to Special Needs Education. The Liverpool Signing Choir was presented with the Queens Award for Voluntary Services in 2013 the citation being, “Breaking down barriers to develop mutual understanding and respect between deaf and hearing communities.”
To bring together deaf and hearing young people in friendship and understanding.
Breaking down barriers to develop mutual understanding and respect between deaf and hearing communities.
Everything we do is to develop young people’s confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing through developing many skills. Songs are signed and performed to a variety of audiences both locally and internationally. The Liverpool Signing Choir provides an inclusive platform to showcase the beauty of sign language – Enhancing the children and young peoples’ ability to become confident individuals in the diverse world they live in.