the cake at the official Intran launch
at hand for people in Norfolk who are cut off from vital services
because they simply cannot make themselves understood.
Thanks to a new translation and interpretation service, people
who are deaf or who do not have English as their first language
will finally be heard.
Intran is funded by Norfolk County Council, Norfolk Health Authority,
all Primary Care Groups and Trusts in Norfolk, Norfolk Police,
Norfolk Probation Service and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough
At the launch
development manager Valerie Gidney explained how it all started:
"In 1998 people from public services started to think that there
was a big problem with communication for foreign people and
users had themselves been put in tremendous difficult situations
because they couldn't communicate. So, they decided to identify
a need in Norfolk by carrying out extensive research, and its
all coming to place now.
"They really believe that because we have identified 58
languages spoken in Norfolk, a lot of them being people spread
all over Norfolk, and that 7% of the population in the UK having
hearing impairment, they've decided to invest in this project.
It's been absolutely fabulous to see how much the public services
providers, who have been involved worked hard to make it happen
Hunns, a West Norfolk Service Provider
worker Jo Hunns says that when people come to her, they usually
have enough vocabulary to say they need help, but they are not
able to explain their actual needs or the reasons for them.
Jo thinks this project will make a tremendous difference. "By
the time they see me they are usually very frustrated, they've
usually gone round the block twice over by the time they get
to me. They’ve been sent to different departments, nobody usually
gives them the opportunity to explain in their language what
it is they need, and they'll just point to another direction.
By the time they get to me, they're either close to tears or
Deaf ConneXions, a Norfolk-based service offers signing and
communications assistance for people who are deaf. Geoff Wadham
knows at first hand how difficult it can be communicating clearly
what the problems are. He says he knows the English language,
but finds it hard to understand because of the lip reading problem.
footballer Jean Yves de Blasiis
City footballer Jean Yves de Blasiis had communication problems
when he first joined the club. "When I first moved to Norfolk
- although Norwich City Football Club were very helpful - it
was difficult find a house and dealing with all the administration
- registering with a doctor, getting your telephone and other
services connected," he said.
"I think a service like this is very helpful to anyone who lives
and works in Norfolk whose first language is not English. I
am very pleased to help bring it to the attention of everyone
in the county, because I think it is very necessary."
Joan Fowler, councillor and Portfolio Holder for Social Inclusion
and Care at Norfolk County Council said: "This is a great day
for Norfolk because equality of access to our services is essential
and by making members of the Ethnic Minorities and Deaf people
less isolated, it will make their life easier."
Valerie Gidney says that now the service has been launched,
she would like to see it happen in practice.
"I want the users the themselves to ask whenever they feel they
cannot communicate and they use a public service. ‘They're asking
I need an interpretator, I want an appointment with interpretator
can you do that for me.’ And I want this to be happening all
over Norfolk, for any sort of public service."