Wed. Oct 5th, 2022

A Street Assist volunteer has been hailed for their excellent work in assisting a young woman with a hearing impairment.

Lyle Donald, 21, only began helping out with the charity four weeks ago but has already earned his stripes as a valuable member of the team.

His quick-thinking allowed him to use his basic sign language skills that he acquired from his day job as an early years officer at a nursery in Fife.

Street Assist had been called to an incident close to Subway nightclub in Edinburgh’s Cowgate.

When they arrived they discovered a woman who was worse for wear due to a suspected over consumption of alcohol.

She appeared to be in a “heightened state of vulnerability and distress” and police were unable to communicate with her.

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But after searching her bag, officers found a card identifying the young clubber as someone who was hearing impaired.

This led to Lyle sparking into action and using basic sign language skills to communicate with the woman, to ask her what she needed and to try to figure out how to get her home.

Lyle had developed sign language skills after discovering that a child in his group at work was hearing impaired and thought that having the skill would make the child feel more comfortable with a heightened level of communication.

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On the incident, Lyle said: “When we turned up the bouncer at Subway told us that they felt the woman may be hearing impaired but felt they had no way of figuring this out.

“We have a partnership with Police Scotland and after they came along they managed to check the woman’s handbag for any details that may help us identify and get her home.

“Officers found a card that identified the woman as hearing impaired. I know some basic sign language through my daily job and that helped us to identify a way of getting her home and keeping her calm throughout the situation.

“It also helped the police as we were able to communicate with her to get a hold of her drivers licence that then in turn led …….


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