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Support for sign language classes from leading social landlord



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Support for sign language classes from leading social landlord

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A customer in a retirement living community has introduced sign language classes for her neighbours, with help from a funding initiative by not-for-profit landlord Homes Plus.

Linda and her partner are both deaf. When they moved into their new home, other residents were keen to learn how to communicate with them and so Linda began offering sign language classes. Soon, tenants living nearby invited her to help them get to know their hearing-impaired neighbours, too.

Now, the enthusiastic teacher has received a bumper delivery of flip charts, paper and pens to use in her lessons. The resources have been provided through the Homes Plus My Community Fund in partnership with Jewson. 

Linda retired after teaching sign language at a college for 17 years: "When we moved here, it was hard to communicate at first," she remembers. "We would write things down on pieces of paper, or make notes on our phones. I thought it might be good to do some teaching again, to help my neighbours and the people who work here.

"Communication between deaf and hearing people is so important. When we can talk to each other, we can become friends."

Linda's neighbour Lawrence has been attending the classes. "It seemed a good time to try another language and to understand Linda's world a little bit," he explains.  "I wanted to be able to say ‘hello', ‘goodbye' and ‘how are you?'; the kind of things you would say to anyone else. I've learned the sign language alphabet now, which helps. When I get stuck on a word or a phrase, I can use the alphabet."

When Homes Plus heard about Linda's sign language classes, the landlord wanted to lend a hand:

"My Community Fund backs local charities, groups and people like Linda, who are making a positive difference in our communities. I am delighted that we could help," said Les Clarke, executive director of housing and care.

Linda is now busy using the new flip charts in her sign language classes: "It makes it easier to create resources and to go back to something we have previously learned. I am really grateful for the support," she said.

Local residents, charities and community groups can learn more about the Homes Plus My Community Fund and apply for grants online at

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Linda is pictured preparing to share her sign language skills, using materials provided by the Homes Plus My Community Fund. 

Video: Meet Linda and some of her neighbours, in this short video


Background for editors

Homes Plus is a social landlord which owns more than 19,000 homes in Staffordshire and Shropshire.  

Registered as a Charitable Community Benefit Society, Homes Plus is a Housing Plus Group company. The Group is a leading provider of quality, affordable homes and care services that customers can trust. Member companies also include Care Plus, Property Plus and Severn Homes.  

With a vision to be a resilient organisation, making a positive difference to homes, lives and communities, Housing Plus Group employs around 1,000 people in Staffordshire and Shropshire. The growing Group is addressing the housing crisis locally, by building new homes for rent, shared ownership and outright sale. It has committed to delivering one-third more hours of care and support for older people in their own homes and to creating new apprenticeship opportunities in the Group and its supply chain. 

Housing Plus Group is inspired by the CLARITY values which are the foundations of its work: Communication, Learning, Accountable, Respectful, Inclusive, Trust and You. 

The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) requires that all registered providers confirm compliance with the Regulatory Framework, Governance and Financial Viability Standard. Housing Plus Group complies with this standard, holding the RSH highest rating for governance, G1 and V2 for viability. Please visit to find out more.  


Further information


Mara Hargreaves
Head of marketing and communications 

Mobile (p): 07967 967 466


Clare Chick 

Marketing and communications officer

Mobile (p): 07950 254 279  


Martin Farrow

CHANGEWORKS Communications
t: + 44 (0) 1785 247588

m: +44 (0)7771 970025