CORNWALL'S only centre for the deaf has been dealt a blow after it was announced funding for its interpreters has been withdrawn.
The interpreter service at Cornwall Deaf Centre in Camborne costs £2,500 each year and had previously been funded by Cornwall Council's social services for the deaf department. This has been withdrawn due to budget cuts.
The interpreters are needed so deaf members of the centre's board can attend regular meetings, including those discussing finances and the annual general meeting, which are required by the Charity Commission.
Jackie Goldie, the secretary at the centre in Camborne, said: "Cornwall has four interpreters who act as a lifeline for many deaf people.
"The Cornwall Deaf Centre is like a second home and is a real hub of the deaf community. Cutting funding for interpreters is like taking the wheels off of a wheelchair.
"Social services for the deaf informed us three weeks ago that they were regrettably forced to withdraw our funding because of decisions from above them. We won't take this lying down."
More than 100 deaf people use the services at the centre each year but Ms Goldie and the rest of the team were refusing to throw in the towel just yet, saying they hoped to hold fundraising events and look into grant schemes to try to raise the money needed for the interpreters.
Nick Fripp, from Cornwall Council's directorate of education, health and social care, said: "Unfortunately the significant reductions in our funding from the Government means we are unable to continue to provide this funding directly.
"The council has a continuing duty to provide communication support, including interpreters, for deaf individuals to be able to access and receive services from Cornwall Council."
The first fundraiser at the Cornwall Deaf Centre will be a 24-hour pool marathon that will take place on Saturday, May 3.
For more information on sponsoring participants, contact Jackie Goldie on 01209 842798.