Chris Beech Joins Zebra Access

Chris, do tell us about yourself

I joined Zebra Access from Wolverhampton City Council Customer Services where I worked as a Project Development Manager for 10 years. Prior to that, I was a departmental Manager at several ASDA stores after progressing through their Talent graduate programme. I have lived in Wolverhampton since 1997 where I have settled down with my wife, Nikki who has bore me 2 beautiful kids.

Can you tell us about your role with Zebra Access

My new role at Zebra Access as Project Development and Training Officer is to work with local Deaf communities within Black Country to identify services and provisions that are lacking before sourcing for potential funding to address issues that the local Deaf Communities face.  Discrimination, Interpreting access, Employment and Health seem to be the recurring issues that need to be addressed to enable Deaf people to be on par with normal hearing people. I also try to develop network with relevant organisations and individuals in the wider community as part of my new role to generate much needed support and understanding of the barriers that the local Deaf communities face daily.  The projects that Zebra Access has obtained funding for and delivered to date are:

- 12 week Employment training for Deaf people

- Set up Black Country Deaf Events website - to enable all Deaf related events in the Black Country to be publicised

- Deafinitely Football project - offering 8 weeks free training to encourage people under 25 to become more active and giving them pathway to Black Country Deaf Football Club or any other Deaf sporting opportunities

There are several other projects in the pipeline dependent on funding relating to the following:

- Employment

- Health

- Community grants

- Your rights

Zebra Access are also looking for work with Deaf communities and BDA to try and get the BSL Charter adopted by Wolverhampton City Council.

As Zebra Access is a charity, we have started to look into several fundraising events starting with 6 of us aiming to complete the Tough Guy challenge which will go towards supporting series of Health workshops and events for Deaf people in Wolverhampton. It should be an interesting experience...

Sounds fantastic and a big welcome to Chris!

Please do keep look out for our new fundraising links, tweets, posts and pages in the coming weeks.