The History of Bromley Chain

The charity was registered in October 1980 and officially inaugurated on 6 February, 1981

Bromley Chain - a link with deaf people - was set up to lessen isolation and to bring people together and forge links which would be to the benefit of both deaf and hearing communities, and especially parents with deaf children, for mutual support.

Founded by the father of a deaf daughter, the committee of volunteers was joined by members co-opted from Social Services, Education and Audiology. Social events,play schemes, fund-raising for non-statutory equipment, campaigning and talks took place and new initiatives were introduced. Of the 11 chairpersons, 5 have been deaf, and 2 of those were second generation members of Bromley Chain!

Some highlights from our history:

1991: Set up Communication Service for Bromley, administered initially by B.A.T.H. and then by an interpreter on behalf of Bromley Chain

1992: BDA Advocacy Department report, Signpost to the Future, for Social Services, with co-operation from Bromley Chain.

1994: Having proved need for a Communication Service, RNID awarded Contract to deliver it for Social Services and Health.

First pantomime was Sign Language Interpreted at Churchill Theatre.

1995: Bromley Chain Charity Shop opened in Bromley.

1996: Access Resource Centre opened at Beckenham Hospital after 4 years of campaigning and fund-raising by Bromley Chain following the BDA Report in 1992.

2000: 2 members of committee take up the Trans Borneo Cycle Challenge and raise over £6,500 for the charity Sense (National Deafblind and Rubella Association).

Bromley Deaf Social Club was set up by 2 committee members with support from Bromley Chain.

The Access Centre (now Deaf Access) moved to Community House, Bromley, with continued funding from Bromley Chain.

2001: Bromley Chain Constitution revised.

Education Department agree to contribute to the Communication Service.

Bromley Chain becomes a beneficiary of the Phyllis Mary Kither legacy.

2005: Youngest ever profoundly deaf chairperson appointed.

2007: Bromley Chain funded a Reunion for pupils/teachers of Darrick Wood Hearing Impairment Units.

2009: Our twice-yearly, free Newsletter - Chainmail - goes into colour.

2013: A previous chairperson, Kathleen Hankinson,does us the honour of becoming our Patron

We funded the subtitling of the film 'Blitz and Bananas', a community film project launched with the help of members of the Orpington Video & Film Makers, written and created by Anna Littler with original music by Adam Bird.

2014: We funded a pilot scheme for counselling for Deaf pupils at Darrick Wood Deaf Centre, initially for ten weeks and extended until the end of the academic year.

2016: A counsellor for the deaf was successfully employed in Darrick Wood secondary school and Griffins.