Rachel: Hello my name is Rachel, this is my sign name, over to Andrew.
Andrew: Hello my name is Andrew. (gives name sign)
Rachel: Back when I was about 7, or maybe 6, we had Deaf Children’s Christmas parties. I would be involved, we’d play together, had fun with games and we’d meet Father Christmas. And who was Father Christmas back then? It was Andrew! We kids played together, became excited, we’d used some sign language together and our parents were there too.
Andrew: We had Father Christmas volunteers. They asked me to be Father Christmas as a volunteer. Three times I was Father Christmas for Deaf children. One of which was Rachel (points at her). She pulled my beard off!
Rachel: I don’t know why I did that, I probably wanted to know who Father Christmas was.
Andrew: The third Christmas at the park was embarrassing because my pants fell down. All the children looked with their mouths wide open! It was because the belt was too cheap! It was made in China. The belt wasn’t working! Rachel, you will remember that.
Andrew: I gave out lots of presents, when a Deaf child came up, if they have sign language I would sign to them. With hearing children and with children who were more oral I would speak to them but my voice was not right for them so I had an interpreter behind me in the background to help me.
Rachel: Oh yes, I remember all that, the fun, the games and presents, lolly scrambles, too. Those Christmas events went on for about 3 years, right? About that.
Andrew: Yes, that’s right.
Rachel: It was great for mixing together, being social, seeing and learning from Deaf adults – they were good role models for Deaf children. Thank you
Andrew: It was always a good time, it was good fun to mix with the children.
Rachel: And I was mischief of course.