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Sign Language Initiative

Eight Ipswich Building Society staff have completed a ten week training course to help them learn the basics of British Sign Language. Six of the Society's branches now have staff able to communicate with members who may have a hearing impairment.

The Society worked closely with Ipswich-based social enterprise Sensing Change, a social work practice which supports adults with sight and / or hearing loss, to provide the weekly training for the eight employees. One employee, Alice Davis of the Society's branch in Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre, Ipswich, has since embarked upon a British Sign Language Level 1 Qualification.

Paul Winter, Chief Executive, Ipswich Building Society, said: "We encourage our staff to go the extra mile in their approach to customer service and we hope these newly acquired skills will make a difference to our deaf and hard of hearing members. Our aim is to enable all our members to communicate clearly and easily with our staff around their financial needs."

Mrs Cordy-Allen, member of Tower Ramparts (Ipswich) branch, stated: "I've been a member of the Society for many years, and the staff have always done their utmost to ensure my needs are met, but being able to communicate directly with someone who can 'sign' makes my life that little bit easier."

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