I was visiting my parents’ house a few years ago and answered their telephone to a lovely lady who was soliciting for contributions to The Shepherd Centre. The reason I answered the phone is that my mother is almost completely deaf unless she has her hearing aids in and so the call would otherwise have gone unanswered. I thought there was a beautiful symmetry to the story and so the call was in some ways “meant to be”.
I had not heard of The Shepherd Centre but I spoke to my mum about it and she was very familiar with Dr Bruce Shepherds’ work – I instantly signed up as a contributor and have been one ever since.
I grew up with my Mum needing aids to hear and I also had a profoundly deaf Uncle. I had never consciously appreciated their challenges but have been around people of different hearing ability my whole life.
I recently spent many years working and living in Asia and I considered, for the first time, how my experience of not being able to speak or understand the languages around me must be akin to a kind of deafness. The sense of social exclusion, the frustration at times, the feeling of not being able to contribute because I couldn’t follow what was going on around me from verbal cues was very powerful and made me more attuned to different abilities in people. I became more excited about what a precious thing it must be to help a child who could be feeling the same way – or perhaps more accurately, about how to reframe my understanding of deafness and be more considerate and supportive.
The Shepherd Centre has a fabulous team of people and in conversation I was made aware of the ability to leave a gift which I hadn’t previously considered. The conversation wasn’t pushy and both this informative approach, and my continuing appreciation of the great work done at The Centre made it an easy decision.
I wasn’t difficult to include a gift in my Will – not in the slightest. I’m thrilled that anything I am able to leave will be used to continue the awesome work don’t at TSC. I’ve visited the Newtown centre and was blown away by the teams and the children there. I think more people would leave gifts if there were a greater awareness of the opportunity to do so and it makes the act of updating wills something we should consider more often.
To others considering leaving a gift in their Will to The Shepherd Centre, I would say, don’t hesitate. You can leave a gift to any worthy cause of course, but if you know The Shepherd Centre and value their work then it’s an incredibly simple, and life changing, thing to do.