THE new CEO of an organisation that provides vital support for the deaf community is planning to take on more staff and expand its services.

Caroline Howsley, who has been general manager of the Cumbria Deaf Association for the last two years, has been named as its new CEO.

The charity said that when she joined as general manager two years ago, they were suffering from reduced donations and revenue due to the pandemic.

However, they said that during her time as general manager she worked hard to network in the community and raise the organisation’s profile, as well as improve its governance and planning for recovery in the wake of Covid-19.

Caroline said: “When I joined there were concerns around whether CDA really was a going concern or not.

"We analysed every single payment that came in and out and where it came from, what we were paying for, what contracts we had, and we cleared everything that was unnecessary.

"We stripped it right back down to the basics and from there it enabled us to really look at what we want and what we need.

“Now, we're moving forward in a really positive way.”

Over the last two years, the number of people employed by the charity has doubled from five to 10.

Carol added: "What we've done over the past two years is really to help inform the deaf community what they're entitled to," she said.

Caroline urged anyone who thought they could get help from CDA to get in touch.

"The deaf community are now actually contacting us, asking for interpreters to go to doctors and dentist appointments, whereas previously they would try and manage on their own.

“They are legally entitled to support and now they know that, and they are asking for it.

“Another example of growth is supporting and training businesses, who can get in touch if they need help around how they can help their deaf visitors.

“We have a super ageing population - especially in Cumbria - and it’s essential that we address people’s hearing loss as they age and how to make events, venues and the workplace more accessible for everyone.”

READ MORE: Police investigate multiple 'dangerous' egg-throwing incidents