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Meet the Team

Kirsty Wild
Chair Person

Kirsty is the chair lady of Rotherham Deaf Connections. She has been in the role since January 2023, however, she has been a part of Deaf Connections since it first started. She is married and has a daughter who is the most wonderful thing they have ever been blessed with.

Kirsty works on the Peri Team and at the HI resource base at Bramley Grange Primary School. She was first interested in learning to sign when a deaf/signing child came into the Nursery she worked in and wanted to make sure she was included as much as her peers. From there, Kirsty went on to do her level 1 and 2 BSL and to work for the HI Team.   During her spare time she is often out with her family, camping, watching a movie or planning the next trip to Disney!

Rita Layden

I was privileged to have been born into a Deaf family and due to this have been involved with the deaf community all my life. I have loved being a mum and nanna and watching my own family grow. I have been involved with deaf children and families professionally for over30 years. I have a lot of experience and a desire to support Rotherham deaf children and their families.

There is nothing that gives me more joy than seeing the smiles on young deaf people and seeing them grow into happy and successful adults.

Monique Furniss

Monique is the Treasurer here at Deaf Connections. She took on the role in September 2019. She has worked as a projects and specialist loans manager at Norton Finance for 18 years.

 Monique is Momma to Primrose – her amazing deaf Granddaughter. Primrose is the apple of her eye. When she’s not completing her level 2 BSL, her hobbies are Primrose, Primrose and Primrose ♥ Monique will put a smile on anyone's face as she is a happy, fun loving person.

 Nadine Havenhand

Nadine is the group fundraiser and mummy to Primrose and Blake.

Nadine, Joseph and Primrose were one of the first families to attend Deaf Connections when it first opened.

From the minute they walked in, Primrose loved it. Speaking to the other parents made it a little less daunting about the fact that Primrose was profoundly deaf. Her hobbies are her family, Primrose, Blake and going to the caravan.

She has recently passed her Level 2 BSL course. 


Natalie is one our volunteers and a great role model to our children .

"I am proudly deaf from birth & I went to Bramley Grange School then to Boston Spa school.

I met my husband on a ski-ing holiday & we have 2 children, a teenager daughter & son.

I am a football mum, it’s taking over my Sundays but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ve started working with deaf children aiming to be an teaching assistant.

During my spare time you will find me travelling & exploring the UK with my family.

We love Greek islands!"


 Shareen is a full time mum to 3 beautiful children. Her daughter Hafzah is deaf and attendedBramley Grange Primary school where they have a specialist resource base. Hafzah is also a club helper. Shareen was also involved in setting up the club and was former treasurer. Shareen was passionate about setting up a club for Deaf children and their families as she feels it is important that children and families can share experiences. She is currently doing her level 2 BSL to help and understand users at this club.

In her spare time she enjoys family time, walking and swimming. Let’s see if we can persuade her to swim the English channel for Team DC!


Cheryl is a volunteer at Rotherham Deaf Connections.

You will often see her by the craft table supporting creative activity. She has a lifetime of experience to share with our young people.

Cheryl is hoping to develop signing skills to enhance her communication.

Her motto is ‘be prepared’ and she supports the whole team setting up each session with her trusty ‘emergency kit’.  


Alexa is one of the original members of the Rotherham Deaf Connections Team. She
helped set up the group in September 2018. Alexa works with some of the
children that attend RDC at the resource base at Wickersley Sports school.
During her spare time Alexa can be found spending time with her lovely
little family,  or busy on the level 6 BSL course she has just started.

She goes above and beyond for the childrenshe works with and is always happy to help.

Alexa is the kind of friend everyone needs!

Paul & Tracey

Paul & Tracey have been married for 35 years. They have two sons and five grandchildren together. Tracey is the Deaf instructor for Rotherham Borough Council and works four days a week. The children and staff at the schools she visits love Tracey and are always happy to see her and eager to show off their signing skills. If you are interested in doing your level one or two BSL then Tracey is your woman!

Paul, now retired, is a lovely family man. In the past, not only did he play for Sheffield Deaf Cricket club, he was the captain, manager and treasurer. He also played for Yorkshire deaf cricket club, again he took up the role of Captain and was a player for the Great Britain deaf cricket team…. Anyone fancy a game of cricket in the summer – Paul is your man!

During their free time when Tracey is not busy researching their next exotic holiday, they enjoy going on walks in the great outdoors and spending time with their family and grandchildren.

Youth Committee 

New for 2024, our youth committee, Hafzah, Alana and Hadiqa.

They are fantastic role models for the children that attend and

we look forward to working with them this year.

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