Thurmaston Cafe launches weekly ‘Sign Club’ to teach sign language skills


Pictured above: M&S Sign Club

A Thurmaston M&S cafe has launched a weekly ‘Sign Club’ to help build a bridge to the deaf community after an employee shared advice on Tik Tok.

The club launched on Thursday June 16 at M&S ​​Thurmaston on Barkby Thorpe Lane, with sessions between 3pm and 5pm and anyone with a knowledge of British Sign Language is welcome.

The club welcomes deaf and hearing people and allows people to hone their skills, with participants encouraged to practice and learn to help bring the community together while enjoying food and drink at the M&S Café.

M&S Client Advisor Ineke Doesburg, who has worked at M&S ​​Thurmaston for almost four years, said: “Languages ​​and curiosity about other cultures seem to be in my DNA.

“I love reaching out to people and learning more about them. It’s part of my Dutch culture, where bilingualism is quite common.

“I don’t like people being left behind, which is why I started learning British Sign Language – to communicate better.”

Ineke has practiced sign language for several years and has shared videos on the TikTok channel to inspire others to learn the language.

The club was first announced on M&S Thurmaston’s TikTok and Facebook accounts by Ineke.

Ineke Doesburg, M&S Customer Advisor on Tik Tok

Ineke practiced her sign language skills on M&S Thurmaston Tik Tok channels, showcasing coffee specials, with social media followers liking her videos and praising her online.

Ineke said: “Although I am far from fluent, I have been able to help several deaf customers with questions at the collection desk and I look forward to bringing the community together and through this helping many. others.”

The team looked for ways to connect with the community through their cafe and wanted to create inclusive clubs for people with hearing loss.

M&S Thurmaston is one of over 600 M&S stores with its own social media accounts on TikTok and Facebook.

Set up during the pandemic to communicate to local customers the availability of essential items and opening hours, they said they had become a “very effective and engaging way” for M&S stores to reach customers and shoppers. local communities.

M&S Stores accounts have risen to fame over the past two years, with Romford leading the way.

The Romford team released a Christmas single (following requests from TikTok fans), which reached number 2 on the iTunes Charts last December.

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