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GDA shortlisted for Jelf Award

GDA announced as a finalist for a Jelf Award in the 2017 Local Business Awards.
It was announced yesterday that the hugely successful partnership between GDA and Coventry Building Society's Cirencester branch, has been shortlisted for a Jelf Award in the 2017 Local Business Awards.
Inaugurated in September 2014, the awards recognise the contribution made by local Gloucestershire businesses and their staff to local Gloucestershire charities.
Since the Cirencester branch of The Coventry Building Society selected GDA to be its charity partner, each organisation has benefited hugely from a commitment on both sides to engage fully in what such a relationship can offer. The result is a friendship between corresponding staff; a better customer service for people who visit The Coventry; and a challenge event in May 2017 that brought together a mixed group of 17 people - deaf sign language users and hearing people – who needed to overcome communication challenges on top of a massive physical test to achieve a record-breaking fundraiser for the charity.
The Cirencester branch of The Coventry is small, and possesses the best qualities of what a small store on the high street can offer in terms of personal service and putting the customer first. The branch has run its own fundraising events for GDA, including coffee and cake mornings. These in themselves have provided a lovely opportunity for a GDA representative to spend a morning at The Coventry, nurture the relationship between our staff, and just as important introduce the charity’s services to some of the building society’s customers.

The highlight of the charity/company relationship between GDA and The Coventry has to be their enthusiasm in joining our own charity staff and members in fundraising challenges. This culminated in GDA’s Three Peaks Challenge which took place in May 2017 across 24 hours, but in fact required months and months of training. Kim from the Cirencester branch in The Coventry stepped up to this particular challenge and it simply cannot be overestimated what she achieved. She joined a group of 17 people, half of whom were Deaf sign language users, and not only overcame what to everyone afterwards said was the biggest physical challenge of their lives, she did it alongside people with whom she had to learn to communicate effectively even though she is hearing and they are profoundly deaf, and she uses speech and they use sign language. The measure of her success should be seen by the fact that when the group came within 100 metres of the final peak, which was Snowdon, one of the fittest deaf people in the group walked from the front to the back where Kim was and, recognising how tough she had found it, signed for her to lead everyone to the top.
That single gesture between our two organisations and why GDA considers The Coventry branch in Cirencester to have given more in real terms than we might have ever hoped for from a corporate partner.

GDA and Coventry Building Society will now attend a Finalist event on Thursday 7th September at the National Star College. Winners will be announced that evening, so keep your fingers crossed.
For more information about the Local Business Awards click here.
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