Delicious MPs. Shame about the cakes.

Well, the launch of NDCS’s Big Plans seemed to be a big success. Lots of MPs and Lords came to hear about our plans to become a more child-centred organisations, that puts deaf children at the heart of the decision-making process. I’m a big believer that nothing should be done for deaf children, unless, as much as possible, it’s done by them (how we do this in campaigns is one of the challenges I need to get to grips with over the coming year – ideas very welcome).

Chairing the event was Tara, a sparky, intelligent young girl from Middlesborough who, earlier in the day, was chatting away to Newsround. And we had lots of deaf children in attendance talking to the VIPs. Once again, they all made my job look easy. Pesky kids…

And, quite a few MPs and Lords came along to meet the children – including Malcolm Bruce (NDCS Vice President and parent of a deaf child), Annette Brooke, Sharon Hodgson and Tom Levitt so their presence was really welcome. They may not be household names – but they’ve done a lot of work over the years for disabled children. My job at the event was to make the most of their presence. These VIPs were not allowed to leave unless they knew all about our Big Plans, had met some of the bigwigs at NDCS and were fully persuaded of the need to campaign for deaf children in Parliament. Depending on how malicious I was feeling, I would also ask them to name as many Kylie Minogue hits as possible.

I do sometimes find these events difficult, mainly because of the communication barrier, but also because you really have to be direct and fearless and go straight up to the VIPs before someone else nabs them. This time though, I was determined to make full use of the sign language interpreters and to get my fangs into a few MPs and Lords. Fortunately for me, many were receptive to our arguments of the need for action and keen to support us. Result.

Sadly, I was so busy getting my fangs into MPs, that I didn’t get a chance to get my fangs into the food. Shockingly, there were no canapes but there were some gorgeous lush looking cakes. Which the kids all ate… After my job and now after my cakes… pesky kids, indeed…


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