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West Norfolk Deaf Association King's Lynn Railway Road 25th birthday celebrations joined by mayor Lesley Bambridge



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Borough mayor Lesley Bambridge joined celebrations to mark the 25th birthday of a West Norfolk charity that helps thousands of people every year.

The West Norfolk Deaf Association headquarters in Lynn's Railway Road has undergone a transformation in the last 15 months, and part of the celebrations saw a very special naming ceremony of one of the newly-refurbished rooms in the building.

“After a really tough couple of years courtesy of the pandemic, we are delighted to be here to celebrate our 25th anniversary. Thousands of people with acquired hearing loss and those who are profoundly deaf use our services each year and we are delighted to welcome guests and service-users to our celebration,” said general manager Anna Pugh.

The Amanda Kenny Room, from left: WNDA manager Anna Pugh, Mayor Lesley Bambridge, Sarah Cox (Amanda's sister, retail and children's services manager), Bex Vass, hearing support specialist and Dr Philip Koopowitz, chairman of the trustees.
The Amanda Kenny Room, from left: WNDA manager Anna Pugh, Mayor Lesley Bambridge, Sarah Cox (Amanda's sister, retail and children's services manager), Bex Vass, hearing support specialist and Dr Philip Koopowitz, chairman of the trustees.

“We invited guests to come to our headquarters and have a closer look at what we do, and to enjoy some celebratory cake. It was a lovely afternoon and everyone was really impressed with the new-look and how nice the building is,” she added.

The charity also opened No8 The Old Bookshop in Downham five years ago and it now offers a range of gifts and cards alongside the books it sells to help raise much-needed funds for WNDA. Hearing support can also be delivered at the shop, which is a popular destination in the town.

“We have expanded our services to include ear wax removal along with hosting classes in British Sign Language, a range of social groups including clubs in Hunstanton and Swaffham, and we arrange awareness training, hearing support and everything in between. It’s safe to say that there’s never a dull moment and it’s testament to the whole team that we can do so much in West Norfolk,” said chairman of the trustees Dr Philip Koopowitz.

“Amanda was at the heart of the charity and we wanted a fitting way for her name to continue to live on in our building. It’s great that her sister, Sarah, and son Oliver are also very much involved with WNDA and her legacy continues,” he added.

Amanda Kenny died aged 59 in 2019, two years after being diagnosed with Lynch Syndrome. She was treated for a resulting brain tumour at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, and had been a driving force at the charity. Amanda became involved when her son Oliver was discovered to be profoundly deaf when he was a toddler.

Now a swimming instructor, Oliver and his aunt Sarah Cox, Amanda’s sister, were both at the celebrations when the first floor room predominantly used by children was named in her honour.

West Norfolk Swimming Club coach Oliver is also a trustee of the charity and Sarah manages the award-winning No8 The Old Bookshop in Downham as well as looking after children’s services for the charity.



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