About Us

Our Committee Members


Chris Rickard (Chair) - Chris uses his personal experience of deafness to be a support to others, including incorporating his own story into deaf awareness training. He takes great pride in being the first chair of our organisation.


Jean Tennick (Treasurer) - Having thirty years experience of working in a bank makes Jean the ideal choice to look over our finances and she is keen to share her own experience of deafness to help support others.

Pat Craigie - Pat gained her level one BSL sign language qualification many years ago and brings her range of life experiences to the organisation.

Ann Dewar- Ann is deaf herself and enjoys the camaraderie of lipreading and signing. She is also enthusiastic in her deaf awareness drama performances and contributions to signed singing.


Emma Hindmarch - Emma enjoys practicing sign language on an informal basis and she has a level 2 speech to text using voice recognition software certificate. Her main interest is in mental health law. 

Christine Knott - Christine enjoys the fun of signed singing, is committed to advancing her sign language skills and is ever ready with raffle donations and stall ideas.

Slava Reay - Slava is a friendly, creative and positive person. She loves nature and animals and is interested in different social projects, such as supporting people with learning disabilities and elderly people.


Paul Lapham - Paul is a passionate advocate of inclusivity and equality in communication. He is a lover of the great outdoors and engineering. With over 25 years experience as a Research Scientist, Paul has an insatiable appetite for learning how things work and for problem solving. He finds learning BSL rewarding and would like to develop greater insight into hearing devices and the integration of new technology to assist users.

Derek Craigie - ​Is the deaf awareness: NE Project Co-ordinator and acts as Secretary to the Board of Trustees. Derek has over fifteen years experience of working with deaf people and has worked with a variety of community groups for over 30 years.


If you are interested in being considered as a member of our committee, we'd love to hear from you. Please get in touch for an initial discussion. You can also download a copy of our Constitution below:


Our committee have a wide range of experience and bring together a unique blend of skills that help form and develop our programme. The committee meets once every month to discuss the continual development of the organisation's programme and purpose.

A big thank you to all our funders!


Badminton England


Community Foundation


Community Fund - Awards For All


Hadrian Trust


HLF Then & Now Programme


Karbon Homes


Rothley Trust


RW Mann Trust


Sir James Knott Trust


Sport England

As lockdown restrictions ease we are gradually re-introducing some face-to-face sessions at the Linskill Centre alongside our online Zoom programme. All face-to-face sessions require pre booking as numbers are limited. Please see our events page for our full programme of sessions and activities. Thank you for your patience and continued support.

To find out more about joining sessions online or face-to-face at Linskill please contact

email: info@deafawarenessne.org.uk    Tel/Text: 07734 176 196