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“Everyone at the farm has benefited from having Julia as a volunteer, not just herself”
   - Michelle, Farm Yard Manager

As it can be very difficult for deaf people to get volunteer work with animals, as people are worried about lack of communication and risks of working with large animals and not being able to listen out for warning calls, we wanted to offer Julia* who was profoundly deaf the chance to get involved at the farm.

She started at the Big Volunteer Day when we had around 50 volunteers and Julia was the only deaf person on site. People were working in different groups and everyone ensured they had pen and paper at hand, to communicate with Julia in writing, or clearly demonstrated tasks for her to repeat when written explanations would have been too difficult. It was a fantastic day after which Julia signed on for regular farmyard volunteering. She was doing great work and there was never an issue in the time she was here. She left the farm after a year of volunteering, because she was offered a full time position.

We are very happy that she has had a valuable experience with us but we are also aware of how valuable the experience was for ourselves and our volunteers in getting to work and communicate with someone with such different needs and integrating them into the group and I feel that everyone has benefited from having her as a volunteer, not just herself.

*The name was changed to protect privacy.

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