On Saturday 16th September 2023, to kick off International Week of Deaf People (18th – 24th September 2023), The Grand Hotel Brighton played host to an unforgettable evening, the Grand Gala, organised by Talking Hands Café, Hassocks, in support of DeafKidz International. We were thrilled to be joined by our Global Ambassadors SignKid, Tasha Ghouri and Rachel Shenton – the night was a harmonious blend of charity, art, and entertainment, leaving attendees with cherished memories and raising funds for our global programmes.
The excitement kicked off with a warm welcome from our MC for the night, Craig Crowley MBE, CEO of Action Deafness, Chair of the BSL Advisory Board and DeafKidz Internationals’ newest Trustee. After speeches from our Founder and Chair, Steve Crump OBE and Caroline Palmer, Executive Director of Talking Hands, guests were encouraged to support DeafKidz and support our raffle and Silent Art Auction at the gala.
The raffle featured an array of prizes generously donated by local businesses and individuals. The thrill peaked as Tasha Ghouri, and her partner Andrew Le Page, drew tickets, allowing lucky winners to choose their coveted prizes.
Adding an artistic touch, the silent auction on the night highlighted the talent of deaf artists Vicky Barber-Crimes, Emma Davis, Zoe Milner, Alison France, Amanda Gilbert, Diana Terry, Sam Perkins, and Alice McCann. Some graciously contributed 50% of winning bids, while others, in an exceptional gesture, donated 100% of art bids to DeafKidz International. The gala attendees enthusiastically participated, leaving with unique pieces of art that will forever carry the spirit of the gala.
Following a delicious 2-course meal prepared by The Grand Kitchen, the spotlight turned to the entertainment segment of the night. Rock Choir set the tone with spirited renditions of classic party songs, bringing both melody and sign language into harmony with a fantastic performance from the Hands that Sign.
The stage then welcomed the remarkable SignKid, another DeafKidz International Global Ambassador, whose heartfelt rap lyrics captivated the audience. The culmination of his performance saw the entire room on their feet, signing along to his final song—an electrifying moment of unity.
DJ Jeffo took the reins for the night’s grand finale, turning the gala into a dance floor extravaganza. Attendees danced the night away, celebrating the success of a night dedicated to DeafKidz International.
In the end, the Talking Hands Grand Gala proved that when the community comes together, magic happens, and the impact can be profound.
Heartfelt gratitude goes out to the attendees whose generosity fuelled the success of the night, contributing to the raffle, silent auction, and spontaneous donations. Special thanks are extended to MC Craig Crawley, and global ambassadors Tasha Ghouri, Rachel Shenton, and SignKid. The unwavering support of Talking Heads café, particularly Caroline and Emma, added a special touch to the evening.
A special thank you to our sponsors: Castle Snooker and Sports Bar, Desbrusiais Chartered Surveyors, Signature and VW Kampers. And to those who donated tables FIS, Ian Harris and Dave Morgan. Many thanks to those who raffle prizes and the invaluable support of our interpreters – Ben, Yolanda, Neil, Catherine and Jess – bridging connections through their skilful hands.
If you’re interested in organising a fundraising event for DeafKidz International, please get in touch with us here
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