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50 %
raised of £1,000 target
by 12 supporters
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Now Education

Now's Merry Christmas Sign Language Challenge

Fundraising for The National Deaf Children's Society

50 %
raised of £1,000 target
by 12 supporters

The National Deaf Children's Society

We support deaf children and their families to make their future brighter.

Charity Registration No. 1016532


Now Education are a teaching supply agency based in the Midlands. We want to use our network of schools and teachers to help raise money for National Deaf Children’s Society and raise deaf awareness too.

As you may know by now our Director, Marc Ashford, likes to do his bit for charity. As we have shown in previous blogs about his London Marathon run. Especially for the charity NDCS. This charity is dear to his heart, due to the support they provide for his son, George. When George was one, he was diagnosed with Auditory Neuropathy,
which means he cannot hear anything at all. Marc and his wife, with the help of the NDCS, want to use their experience to help others who may be going through the same thing. As well as highlighting the great work the charity does.

This is why the charity has included Marc and his family in one of their Christmas appeals, as shown in the images in this blog.

Marc had the following to say about the charity, "When the NDCS asked Amy and I if they could use George’s story for their Christmas appeal we did not hesitate in saying yes. The NDCS has been so supportive to us, therefore, being able to raise money to
help other families similar to ours feels great. This year we are so excited as this will be the first year that George is hearing! This has been a rollercoaster journey that we have only just begun and the NDCS have been there every step of the way."

Here at Now Education we thought we would take this further. We have made the NDCS our chosen supported charity. A charity that has supported “one of our own” through some tough times. We are a family at Now and have shown this by every single staff member getting behind this appeal and learning “We wish you a merry Christmas” in sign language. (Video posted here:

We challenge our schools, teachers and anyone else to get behind this appeal and send in their own video signing “We wish you a Merry Christmas”. Further to this the NDCS have said that they will take their roadshow bus into schools across England so please contact our Director Marc if you are interested in arranging this for your school: 0121 452 4443

Post From our Director: Marc Ashford

George’s Story

George, my son was born a healthy fit boy on Halloween 2014. When George was 1, we started to suspect that he had problems with his hearing. As first-time parents, we booked a doctor’s appointment hoping that his ears would simply be congested. Unfortunately, we were wrong. After several tests and hospital visits, George was diagnosed as profoundly deaf with "Auditory Neuropathy". Which meant he could not hear anything at all.

Auditory Neuropathy means that messages from the ears do not get transmitted to the brain. This is a relatively rare condition with limited research and understanding about it. We were told the only chance we had of George retrieving his hearing would be for him to undergo major head surgery to have a cochlear implant. Amy (my wife) and I fell into a state of shock and did not know how to deal with this news. The fact that the doctors could not answer all our questions made us even more anxious. 

Bit more about the NDCS

It was recommended that we contact the National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) and we decided to attend one of their events entitled 'weekends for families of deaf children'. This was amazing as we met several other parents in the same position as us and spoke to professionals who provided support and much-needed information on Auditory Neuropathy and cochlear implants. We also met deaf adults that told us stories about their childhood and what life is like as a member of the deaf community. A guest speaker at the event gave us the idea of organising a British sign language workshop session for all our close family to learn how to sign so that we could all communicate with George. It was great to learn this new skill for George with our family by our sides. 

The NDCS helped us to prepare ourselves and to come to terms with what was to happen next.

After months of assessment including MRI and CT Scans, speech & language therapy and auditory tests, the day of Georges operation arrived. We anxiously waited 6 hours for George to come out of the theatre. Everything went to plan and it was just a waiting game to see if it worked.

The Birmingham Children's Hospital and The Birmingham Paediatric Cochlear Implant Programme are giving us the tools to work with George and help him progress. one month after his operation, we noticed significant change. George started to make new sounds and is responding to sounds such as rattles and tambourines.

George turned 3 on Halloween and our little boy is now hearing with the aid of his cochlea implant. We are excited for Christmas this year as this will actually be the first year that George can hear Santa’s sleigh bells and Daddy’s very bad Christmas singing! Further to this George is trying to speak and has said his first words (the first being “Mummy.”)

Our journey has certainly been an emotional and unexpected one and no doubt there will be more ups and downs to come as George grows up. The NDCS have been a vital support mechanism for us. Having somewhere where we can go for advice, information and support.


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  • George and Daddy Cuddles
  • George and Mummy Decorating Tree +7