Read Ben's story

"My name is Ben. I am 19 years old. I have severe to profound hearing loss; I have a twin brother Oliver who has moderate to severe hearing loss. I also have a younger sister Emily who doesn’t have hearing loss. I’ve been deaf since I was born, I had my hearing aids fitted in January 2004. I went to a mainstream nursery as well as going to The Elizabeth Foundation.

"The Elizabeth Foundation has helped me become the person I am today. I have a few memories of my time there, like meeting some Portsmouth football players. And Dave, the bus driver that used to pick us up and drop us back every day [Editor’s note – this was our co-founder Dave Metherell MBE who was a volunteer minibus driver when building works meant families had to park off-site].

"I started school in 2007. I went to a mainstream primary and secondary school. I had a Teacher of the Deaf who would regularly check-up on me and how I was doing. I also had extra support around the school if needed, which was a bonus. I liked PE at school but found Maths and English hard.

"I played lots of football with local teams and even had the chance to play with the Southampton pan-disability team. We won the 2018 tournament organized by Manchester United Disability Supporters’ Association (MUDSA), beating Brighton, Man Utd and Chelsea. I was also on the pathway to play for the deaf England team but that all came to a stop due to Covid-19.

"I left secondary school during the Covid-19 lockdown year, which meant I couldn’t sit my exams. I then went to college to do a sports course but due to lockdown and not being able to do the physical stuff alongside the theory I fell out of love with the course. The following year I started a plumbing course which was a more hands-on practical course which I instantly fell in love with. I have just started a level 3 plumbing course and am looking for an apprenticeship.

"When I am not at college I work part-time and go to the gym. I have done many exciting things, for example I climbed Mount Snowdon in North Wales which was very beautiful. I have also been to many music festivals in the past year, the most recent one being in Europe which was my first time being outside of the country without my family.

"The Elizabeth Foundation has also had a big impact on my family. My mum now works there as a Teaching Assistant alongside the teachers who taught me. It’s nice to go back there now – I always feel incredibly welcome!"


Ben's story

"The Elizabeth Foundation has helped me become the person I am today."

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