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September 8, 2003


From: Bath Chronicle, UK - Sept 8, 2003


And Hywel Lloyd THE secretary of a club about to be made homeless will be feeling the cold this autumn after losing his hair at a fund-raising event.

Philip Saunders, secretary of the Green Park Centre-based Bath Deaf and Social Club, sacrificed his luxuriant beard and head of hair to raise money for deaf children throughout the city.

Mr Saunders lost his locks on Saturday evening in a sponsored head shave held to raise money for the deaf club's children's Christmas party.

Some of the money will also be used to help establish a youth club for deaf teenagers in the near future.

Fellow members have been engaged in a variety of fund-raising activities to finance the club for a number of months including car boot sales, sponsored walks, auction sales and raffles.

At present there is nowhere in Bath specifically for young deaf children, with the closest youth club that caters for their needs being in Bristol.

Mr Saunders has been running the Bath Deaf Club at Green Park Centre for the past four years.

It was founded after Mr Saunders realised there was nowhere in Bath for deaf people to meet and have a social evening except for the city's pubs.

For the past four years the club has been meeting on the first Saturday of every month at the Green Park Centre and has been steadily increasing its membership from Bath and the surrounding area.

But the club has been forced to search for a new home, following the decision by Bath and North East Somerset Council two years ago to close the centre.

Membership secretary Bob Pearce said it was a wrench to be leaving the centre.

"It is difficult because it is very central and it is very good for transport," he said.

"Some people already have to leave early so they can catch the last bus home, and it is likely to be worse when we move."

The centre is used on a daily basis to offer respite care and give families a well-earned break from caring for a loved one.

No date has yet been set for its closure but Cllr Francine Haeberling, executive member for social services is expected to make a decision in October.

Members of the deaf club have been searching for an alternative venue within Bath to hold their monthly meetings and with the help of Cllr David Dixon will be meeting in the Riverside Centre off London Road from next month.

The meetings will continue to be held on the first Saturday of every month from 7-10pm.

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