A SOCIAL club for the deaf and the hard of hearing has been given a cash boost to help secure its future

Leigh Deaf Club, which is run by volunteers, can now continue to put on fortnightly social events, update its website and provide more interpreters and organise various trips.

The £5,000 investment from the National Lottery Community Fund has been gratefully welcomed by the club committee, who have been looking to breathe new life into the club with new activities.

Treasurer Harry Murphy has been attending since the 1980s,

The longstanding member, who grew up in Lowton and Tyldesley, was on hand at the club’s official celebration party on Wednesday to talk about what the financial boost meant for Leigh Deaf Club.

He said: “I was the first deaf boy to receive a gold Duke of Edinburgh award and to attend Buckingham Palace in 1968 and through my experiences growing up this has inspired me to want to change the perception of those with hearing loss and the chances available.

"This funding will keep the group running for another 12 months allowing us to provide a community celebration, develop our website and put on trips for our members.”

“I hope we can now encourage more new faces to come through the door and enjoy the activities that we will be putting on.”

Harry was supported by Wigan Council's Debra Simmons, Wigan Borough Partnership's Tracy Wormald to apply for and develop the bid.

The club has a long history that dates back to the 1970s when a group of deaf people in Leigh arranged meetings in each other’s houses. It was made into a formal club in 1980.

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Cabinet member for adults and social care at Wigan council, Cllr Keith Cunliffe, said: “Leigh Deaf Club provides a vital connection for residents in Wigan Borough who are hard of hearing so it’s fantastic news that the National Lottery has pinpointed it’s importance.

“Thanks to the funding, the club will get an opportunity to grow and welcome more people on board.

“I would like to send my congratulations to the hard-working volunteers and Wigan Council staff that have ensured the bid was successful and helped secure the club’s future for at least another 12 months.”

For more information on how to get involved in the club and to find out when the next social events are, visit leighdeafclub.co.uk.