Sunday, 29 May 2016

Lifestyle: #VoiceOff Challenge

I was recently contacted by the lovely Nicola, from The Exeter Deaf Academy who invited me to take part in their #VoiceOff challenge. I am a big supporter of local charities, so I jumped at the chance to take part in their campaign to raise some money and awareness for a wonderful cause.
If you aren't familiar with The Exeter Deaf Academy, they are a charity who run a residential school and college for students throughout the UK, 40% of which are from Devon and the students range in age from 4 to 24 years old. 
The main aim of the Deaf Academy is to enable deaf people to acquire language skills, develop socially, emotionally and excel educationally. Their vision is to see deaf people valued by themselves and their society, to build confidence and education, and also to help with good and appropriate employment and housing.
They also have an outreach program to support deaf students in mainstream schools and colleges too.

I think The Deaf Academy is such a wonderful charity, they support their students in everything from language skills to housing, all while building their confidence and independence for when they leave full-time education.

#VoiceOff Challenge
I have signed up to take part in the Ultimate #VoiceOff challenge, which involves switching off your voice for 24 hours. It's different from a sponsored silence in that you can find fun, alternate ways to communicate, such as texting, miming or even signing. I talk all day every day (I'm the biggest chatterbox), from answering the phone at work, to chatting with my boyfriend about how our days have been - my voice is the main way I communicate with the people around me. So I can only imagine how difficult it must be to not be able to communicate through speech - trying to share your opinion or simply asking a question becomes a mammoth task.
Voice Off day is on the 15th of  June, and I will be working all day. (I work in a hotel)
I have already informed my Manager that I will be unable to answer the phone, or speak with any of the guests all day. I know it's going to be a hard challenge, as my job does require me to speak with our guests, workmen, visitors and colleagues and I answer the phone multiple times a day.
My workplace are being very supportive, and my Manager has told me that he will be happy to answer the phone for the day!
I am going to be communicating via text message, gestures, writing down messages and pictures, and I will attempt to mouth words to see if people can understand me. I will also be wearing a badge on the day, provided in my fundraising pack to let the people around me know why I won't be speaking for the day.

I will be getting all of my work colleagues, friends and boyfriend to sponsor my #VoiceOff challenge, to hopefully raise some money for The Exeter Deaf Academy. 
The sponsorship money raised will all be going straight to the Exeter Deaf Academy to support their projects, such as family support and counselling services and the development of a social enterprise to provide work experience opportunities for young deaf people.

I will be documenting how I got on with the #VoiceOff challenge here on my blog, along with my thoughts on how it felt to switch my voice off for 24 hours and also to let you know how much money I have raised for such an amazing charity.

If you also want to take part in the ultimate Voice Off challenge, and raise some money for a brilliant cause or to find out some more information - click here to read the #VoiceOff FAQ's. 

I hope you enjoyed this #VoiceOff challenge post.
If you would like to support my Ultimate Voice Off Challenge, and help me to raise some money for the Exeter Deaf Academy - that would be amazing!
Here is the link if you would like to sponsor me!

Let's be friends!

Love Laurenx

*I am not being compensated or paid for taking part in the #VoiceOff Challenge, I am simply taking part to raise money for a good cause!

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Lauren xx