Dozens of shoppers were stopped in their tracks this weekend, as a signing choir took centre stage at St Johns Shopping Centre.
As part of Deaf Awareness Week (May 15-21), St Johns Shopping Centre, Liverpool shared pictures and videos via social media to help educate some of its 14 million shoppers annually, about what it means to have a hearing loss and ways in which to communicate, through British Sign Language (BSL), to those that do.
As part of their activity, bosses from the city centre shopping destination also invited the Dee Sign Choir to perform on Saturday, May 20, during the busy lunchtime rush.
Eighteen performers signed the words to songs such as ‘What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction, which gained lots of attention from teenagers signing along on the mall and ‘Rule The World’ by Take That, all conducted by choir director, Anne Hesketh during their two-hour performance.
“The performance went without a hitch!” said Anne. “The choir loved the venue, and the shoppers were really appreciative, staying to watch and clap. It was really important to perform as part of Deaf Awareness Week, which is so crucial to spreading important messages and educating the public about hearing loss.”
More than 900,000 people* in the UK are severely or profoundly deaf. There are more than 45,000 deaf children in the UK, plus many more who experience temporary hearing loss. More than 70% of over 70 years-old and 40% of over 50 years-old have some degree of hearing loss.
The choir also raised funds for its linked charity Deafness Support Network (DSN) which delivers practical services, advice and support to D/deaf people, and their families and carers, across the North West.
Robert Bradley, St Johns Shopping Centre Manager, said: “Wow – what a day! The Dee Sign Choir were marvellous and brought a great energy and life to the mall on a busy Saturday.
“With one in five people having a hearing loss in the UK, it’s important that we show our support for charities doing great work in the D/deaf community and having lots of fun whilst doing it too!”