It is a huge honour to have received a generous donation from the family of Corinne and Alan Slavin who sadly passed away in 2015 and 2020.

The gift from their children Nicky and Philip will help us to continue to support deaf babies and children in learning to listen and speak. AVUK is the only charity in the UK offering a specialised parent-centred programme.

The Slavin legacy will support our bursary scheme which provides access to the programme for everyone including low-income families. It relies on the generosity of trusts, foundations, individuals and families like the Slavins to be able to meet the rising cost of the scheme. AVUK receives no Government support.

Nicky and Philip were inspired to leave a legacy to AVUK by the family of James Curtis, an AVUK graduate who attended the programme from the age of three. James is now 21 and earlier this year graduated from Durham University.

He said: “I was born profoundly deaf and I currently wear bilateral Cochlear Implants. I attended Auditory Verbal UK from the ages of three to five and it is thanks to the team’s determination to equip me with the tools to listen and speak that I can communicate as well as any one of my hearing peers “I know that when my parents learnt I was deaf they could never have imagined my life as it is today. They would have been distraught for my future, shocked and worried that my hearing impairment meant I would have to live in a silent world. They did not know how I would communicate nor whether I would be able to have the opportunities they hoped for me.

“Today I speak as well as any of my friends, enjoy the same opportunities and live the same
life. It is thanks to my hearing technology, focused auditory verbal therapy (which AVUK succeeded in making fun) and my mum’s tenacity and determination for me to succeed that I am incredibly happy, fulfilled and able to communicate with anyone (in multiple languages!). Most people do not realise that I am deaf until I tell them.” 

Philip Slavin said “We met James and his family a few years ago and have become close friends. James’s communications skills are remarkable and he has an incredibly positive attitude to life despite his disability. AVUK gave both James and his family the specialist support that was instrumental in allowing him to grow up into such a confident young man. With this donation in memory of our parents, we wanted to give other young deaf children the same opportunity to grow up to lead normal happy lives just like James.”

To find out how you could help support deaf babies and child achieve their potential and remember AVUK with a gift in your will there is more information here or contact our fundraising team on [email protected] or call 01869 325 000.