signing

More than double the amount of people than expected turned up at Paisley Arts Centre to learn sign language.

Staff who had organised the British Sign Language sessions reckoned they would get 50 people coming along, but they were astounded when there was a queue of 128 waiting to join the Paisley Arts Centre’s Sign Language Club.

Organiser Emma Armstrong, who works for Renfrewshire Leisure said: “It was the first meeting of the club and we got a real shock when we saw people queuing out the door and along the side of the building.

signing

“We had to move everyone into the main theatre auditorium, as there were so many who came along. We were delighted to see all these people were interested in learning sign language.”

The Arts Centre received funding from Renfrewshire Council to help with the costs of running the Sign Language Club and the grant means the club can run for at least a year. Those attending now only have to pay £10 for each block of six sessions.

The club meets on a Monday night at the Arts Centre and instruction is provided by Graham Dow, who is profoundly deaf and David O’Rorke from local theatre company, Historical Adventures.

David Emma added: “We had people coming along to learn BSL for all sorts of reasons.

“One lady wanted to learn because her grandson was born deaf and would be learning Makaton – the children’s version of BSL. She wanted to be able to communicate with the boy.

“Some people wanted to use the signing skill in their workplace and others were just interested in learning BSL.

“Everything was very informal and everyone had a lot of fun. But people were also very keen to learn sign language.”