Sophie Smith, one of our Community Safety Educators (CSE), recently passed her NVQ Level 6 in British Sign Language (BSL) – equivalent to a degree. This is an amazing achievement, and recognises Sophie’s two years of hard studying, in addition to earlier studies from 10+ years ago.

Sophie began studying BSL with the Police Link Officers for the Deaf (PLOD) team and achieved a pass, before continuing to achieve her NVQ Level 6. 

The course consisted of completing 180 practical hours in the deaf community, working and socialising with deaf people, proving her understanding of BSL and improving her productive skills, i.e. how well she can sign and be understood! This is in addition to around 12 assessments and weekly two hour lessons for a year.

The police have a couple of Level 6 BSL qualified officers, so it’s brilliant that LFRS have supported Sophie in her studies so that, we too, have that service. We feel that it is important, under the Equality Act, that LFRS is accessible to the deaf community and Sophie’s role as a CSE enables that; providing practical advice, help, support and equipment.

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