About our Listen! groups
At our Family Centre in Hampshire we provide our monthly Listen! groups for children from birth to around three years of age who have unilateral (one-sided), conductive (temporary) or unaided deafness, who have Down syndrome, or who have complex needs.
Activities during the Listen! groups
The Listen! group services are delivered by our skilled and experienced Education team providing:
- advice, guidance and support
- interactive games and activities to encourage early communication, language and listening
- demonstrations of activities to use at home
- resources for parents to take away
- music and movement
- opportunities to share experiences with other families
Through these services we aim to engage and stimulate these children throughout their earliest years, helping nurture strong listening skills that will equip them in their journey to developing speech and language.
"I have learned so much from attending the groups and my son loves it! Good listening is the foundation of good learning and this group is helping us to help our son get the best possible start."
"Thank you for all that you do to help our son with his unilateral hearing loss. We will be eternally grateful for the opportunity to learn at The Elizabeth Foundation."
Listen! group for children with unilateral, conductive or unaided deafness
We provide a support group for babies and preschool children aged up to three years old with persistent ‘glue ear’, unilateral (one-sided) or unaided deafness and their families:
- Glue ear (conductive hearing loss) is a very common condition in young children, and can have a major impact on their speech and language development.
- Unilateral deafness (deafness on one side) can also impact on speech and language development.
Our monthly sessions are friendly and supportive, providing you and your child with lots of expert advice and practical support.
Listen! group for children with Down syndrome
As many as 80% of children with Down syndrome are diagnosed with deafness at some point in their childhood. We provide monthly support groups for babies and preschool children aged up to three years old with Down syndrome.
These groups provide practical help and guidance on how families can support listening and early language development for children with Down syndrome who may be at more risk of being deaf.
Listen! group for children with complex needs
We offer monthly sessions for children who have a degree of deafness alongside additional and more complex needs. As well as having over 35 years’ experience as an organisation supporting young deaf children, many of our team have extensive experience supporting children and families with multiple diagnoses.
Our Listen! groups for children with complex needs provide a warm, caring and supportive environment for families, with activities delivered in a way that is appropriate to the abilities of each child.
We believe that one of the most important aspects of our Listen! groups is the support that parents give to each other. During their time attending our Listen! groups parents and children form relationships and friendships with each other which often last for many years.
We also support parents with information and leaflets which cover topics such as hearing tests, audiograms and deafness, and listening and language development. In this way, we give parents the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills they need to foster their child's overall development, and to share with others the feelings, triumphs and obstacles their family is experiencing.
We currently charge £5 per monthly session for our Listen! groups.
The Elizabeth Foundation is a registered charity and we rely on income from a range of sources to support as many deaf children and their families as possible, wherever they live.
In order to ensure that our Education service is sustainable in the long term, we ask for a sessional contribution fee for this service and rely on this to maintain the outstanding services that we provide.
However, we have done everything we can to keep these fees as low as possible and they do not cover the full cost of providing this specialist service for preschool deaf children which we subsidise using other sources of charitable income.
You can pay for the fees in a variety of ways, including using Early Years Funding or Childcare Vouchers / Tax-Free Childcare. If you are experiencing financial difficulty and feel that you will be unable to pay these fees please let us know.
Our education services are rated as 'Outstanding' by Ofsted: "This provision is outstanding. Staff promote children’s communication and language skills exceptionally well using highly effective strategies, giving children the confidence to join in ... Children play in exceptionally well-resourced play areas where they enjoy rich and varied learning experiences. The staff provide exciting and enjoyable activities that motivate and inspire children’s thinking."