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My name is Samantha Pearsall. I am a very active member of the deaf community and have been all my life. I went to a deaf school because I had a role model in my older brother, who is also deaf. In 2008 I moved to Manchester, where I started working in health care (forensic mental health). During my time living in Manchester I identified with the LGBT community (transgender female) and I am known in the deaf community for advocating for the deaf, transgender community. I am very proud to be a BSL user with a very strong deaf identity.

As a Service Manager at SignHealth Bowfell Road, I am responsible for the residential home and outreach service which covers Greater Manchester. I am responsible for the smooth running of the house and to ensure we put our residents at the heart of everything we do. It is also my responsibility to lead staff and make sure they feel confident to carry out their duties. Within the organisation it is great to see such a wealth of diversity and experience. This means I always look forward to coming to work knowing that as a team we are contributing in supporting resident’s wellbeing. Some days can be challenging and there’s a lot of requirement for prioritising and juggling. We always must be prepared for the unexpected.

I always aim for an organised routine, but at times this can be overhauled by an incident. It is in my nature to put the residents first to ensure they are cared for. We have seen many improvements to the premises to ensure we can deliver our service, and this has been beneficial for our residents.

Deaf Awareness Week is an opportunity to raise the profile of the deaf community and recognition of BSL. Seeing the Scottish BSL bill approved has made me realise Deaf Awareness Week can slowly make ripples toward a similar thing happening in England.

SignHeath is a very proud organisation to be a member in. The widespread ethos within the organisation is clearly to improve the lives of Deaf people and to remove barriers. There is also the confidence that if you meet a colleague from another area, there is a likelihood that they can sign, which is a very positive thing.

This blog was written in support of Deaf Awareness Week 2019: Celebrating Role Models.

We provide social care

Why does SignHealth provide specialist social care services?

Some Deaf people need additional support in order to live safely or carry out ordinary tasks.  This support is much more effective when delivered by staff who know BSL and understand Deaf culture.   
At SignHealth, we are working towards a future without barriers to good health and wellbeing for all Deaf people.