Bethel bsl team
Bethel BSL Support Team is a dedicated group who offer BSL support the Deaf community in all Bethel locations.
We have worked alongside the Bethel leadership team and Bethel technical team since 2001, and have continued to develop our gifts to support others.
The team is a good mix of individuals with varied backgrounds; it consists of various interpreters, CSW, managers in national Deaf charities, Deafblind support workers, education and employment advisors, parents of deaf children, and keen administrators.
The team have covered events such as church openings, worship services, convocations, concerts, Deaf awareness training, and children and young people’s events.
Our team is varying in skills in BSL and continue their development.
We work closely with Deaf advisors and other professionals, friends and visitors.
- To see Deaf people welcomed saved, discipled and integrated.
- To provide BSL to and for members of the Bethel community and visitors.
- To make the gospel of the word (songs, scriptures, and sermons etc.) accessible to the Deaf community and to provide opportunities for them to grow spiritually.
- To offer/provide Deaf led BSL training for all churches so they may provide ministry to the Deaf people in their local community.
- To be a welcome point for our brothers and sisters who are Deaf or HoH
Ultimately to create a quality, sensitive and friendly service to Deaf people within our churches and communities, and connect to God’s awesome presence through our signed support services.
We offer a spiritual and language-enriched service with our accumulated knowledge of Christian worship through our signing, creating a good basis to enable others to experience the move of God.
MEET THE TEAM
BSL Team Co-ordinator
Joy studied Deaf studies, Interpeting and Social Policy. She worked in secondary education for 15 years with Deaf and hearing children before working as a freelancer.
Her work over the years has included theatre, Christian and corporate conferences, community projects, music concerts, BSL training, coaching and wellbeing. Her passion is people and to see intentionally adapted service to the Deaf community and other groups, helping them to be welcomed, engaged and saved! She desires to see the BSL team and Bethel family thrive in this area.
Joy enjoys spending time with her family and husband, Pastor Tony who leads BAM church, listening to music and writing. She is a home educating mom to 5 children.
BSL Team Support, Planning
Sandra is a parent of Theo who is a young adult; he was diagnosed from birth with a hearing impairment. Sandra was introduced to learning Sign Language to encourage communication with Theo and the rest of the hearing family.
Having that confidence, Sandra asked if she was able to join the Bethel Sign Language Team back in 2002.
Sandra enjoys Gospel music, musical theatre and cherries.
BSL Team Support, Deafblind Support, Development
Deacon Roger Thompson is happily married and has been blessed with 4 wonderful children, and a dog – Kolo! He attends Walsall Lighthouse.
He has been using sign language for over 30 years, having initially picked it up from a Deaf colleague in his first job as an Electronics Engineer. He went on to obtain his level 1 and 2 qualifications.
He later decided to change career and work in Social Care, working with Deaf and Deafblind people with additional needs at Sense West, the National Deafblind and Ruebella Charity. He then moved to the RNID (Royal National Institute for Deaf People) where he has remained for the last 18+ years.
He also uses sign language at Walsall Lighthouse to ensure Deaf visitors
are included in the service.
BSL Team Support, Admin
Nola has enjoyed working in the Deaf community for a number of years in varying roles including residential support worker and administration, which is also role that she on occasion carries out within this team. She is a creative individual enjoying arts and crafts of all types. Nola believes it is important that, just as in all other areas of life, equal access for those with disabilities is sought and this should also be reflected in encouraging individuals to build a relationship with God.
BSL Team Support, Deafblind Support
Tina works in the community as a communication guide with profoundly deaf and Deafblind adults. She has worked at the same company for 20 years, and prior to that she was an advisor for the Deaf . Tina is a level 3 signer and hopes to complete her level 6 qualification in September.
She has 2 children aged 15.5 and 13 years.
She has been a part of the Bethel BSL team since its founding in 2001.
BSL Team Support, Admin
Hélène started out doing Makaton whilst working across Bristol in various Special Needs Schools. She then transitioned to BSL and is currently studying BSL.
Hélène enjoys reading, cooking, keeping fit by teaching dance exercise weekly, and loves adventure challenges. Most recently she abseiled down the tallest building in Bristol where she currently works as a Civil Litigator.
BSL Team Support, Admin
Claire started learning BSL in 2008, and started working and volunteering in the Deaf Community in 2012.
She has achieved BSL Level 6, and is currently studying for her Masters in Interpreting.
She is a wife, mom and CEO of Give Gifts (Sign Language Gifts).