Wednesday, April 10 at 11am. A huge cheer went up from the group as we heard the great news.

This was a fantastic day for those at Deaf Coffee Morning. Previously, you will know, that we had been hugely concerned at the funding cuts that Worcestershire County council had made to the charity Deaf Direct and how it might affect the health and well-being of Deaf and hard of hearing people in the area.

So at 11am, William Stavert made the announcement. “We have good news. The council has agreed to provide funding for one year!”

Hence, the huge cheer and lots of handwaving. It was a delight. So much joy and relief. Of course, there has been a lot of work which has taken place to get this decision. And in our combative world of British politics it is easy to think in terms that set one group up against another. “Council Bad: Deaf Group Good.”

But we need to have a bit of nuance and not be so polarised in our view. I know that’s not popular in the present political world, but it is the right thing to do.

So we have to give credit to the staff at Worcestershire County Council for being responsible for the public purse and for checking the effectiveness of the grants which they give.

They were never wanting to discriminate against Deaf people and nor would they have. And we have to give credit to chief executive Craig Crowley who gave confidence to the council that he had the, competence skills and staff to meet the needs of the service.

And I have to give a BIG SHOUT OUT to the Worcestershire Deaf Right’s Group: William, John, Roz, Anne, and Martin – for campaigning, getting the story out there, writing to MPs, meeting the commissioners and organising a petition: but most importantly for catalysing and empowering the Deaf community in Worcestershire and giving them a voice.

I believe that all of these factors made their mark in different ways and with different levels of importance. And for me, I think the lesson that comes from this is that things work better when there is collaboration and networking.

There is no “them”; there is no “us”; just groups of people working together for the common good, and especially the good of those who have specific needs.