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…hello (Spring) 2024!

Jennifer Bird • Mar 20, 2024 • 3 min read


2024

As we all know, the year doesn’t actually start mid-winter; it starts in Spring. Finally, we see the budding signs of new life and feel glimpses of the sun peaking through the clouds. So, we thought we’d share what we’ve planned in 2024 for Signalise. We have a new progress page, and here are some more exciting details!

Strategy / Community

We were grateful in late 2022 to be part of a pilot project with The School of Social Entrepreneurs. We worked with management consultants from Teneo on our strategy, which focussed heavily on people, i.e. the pioneer Signalise members.

We had discussed this as a board and an organisation that needs more capacity to complete the work, and we have since introduced Olive, our Outreach Worker, to the team. She has met with Deaf users as a Deaf person to find out what they think the future of Signalise should be. We’ll be continuing this work over the next few months.

More community engagement with members and the wider community is on the horizon, which we are incredibly excited for. It is time we shout about the brilliant work we all do within this co-op. Our co-op structure is a brilliant solution for the systemic issues we face as the Deaf community and the profession which serves it.

Tech

Currently, we are working on improvements to our Video Relay Service and the parts of our Booking Platform that we still need to complete. Oh, and some vital and experimental work on Community Tools.

Raising Finance

Co-ops do not yet have a statutory asset lock, which makes it much harder to raise funds via traditional grant finance. Although we have something similar in our Rules, some funders do not agree! We are waiting for regulatory changes to follow the passing of the Co-operatives, Mutuals and Friendly Societies Act 2023 that will make it easier. We have also received funding to prepare for social investment and raise more finance. Watch this space!

Contracts

We aim to increase the amount of work we have over the next year, focussing on our existing contracts and our work in other areas such as events, conferences and higher education. These are turbulent times for interpreting and communication services for Deaf people. Corporate monopolies are expanding, and as specialist BSL businesses based solely in the UK, we must fight for organisations that serve us and prove we are a valuable alternative that drives innovation. Through 2024, we need to ensure the business is sustainable, gain greater reach and prove our social value across vital areas of access for the Deaf community.
Onwards and upwards!