BSL Hands : Sign Language Training Services
BSL Hands is a Sign Language training business owned by Aftab Hussain. He has been teaching school children in Bradford the basics of sign language for 4 years, running weekly classes as part of enrichment activities aimed at promoting communication and tolerance of others.
Aftab was born deaf and sent to a deaf school – making business communication (which we often take for granted) difficult for the father of three. This motivates him to help others, raising awareness of the issues faced by deaf people – he recently began teaching staff at Incommunities who realised how hard yet rewarding learning Sign Language is!
BSL Hands was initially supported by Bradnet and a disability adviser from Bradford Chamber as part of the LEGI programme. However, when the programme ended Aftab was left without any specialist support which is essential to the development of his business, particularly as he faces significant barriers in terms of marketing and following up on leads.
Kickstart re-engaged with him and an Enterprise Coach met with Aftab through an interpreter to see how we could help. However, booking appointments with an interpreter proved difficult so we began coaching sessions using pen and paper – whilst this was initially frustrating, the coaching methods used, enabled Aftab to move forward and he has begun to secure new contracts with community groups and a housing association. By taking advantage of contacts provided by the Enterprise Coach, Aftab is hoping to turn a supplementary income into a full time one to support his family.
Kickstart has also helped Aftab to get online, building a WordPress website with him and providing support with social networking on LinkedIn. The coach also helped him with branding and developing booking forms and marketing materials so he feels more confident that his business appears professional when contacting potential customers.
BSL Hands is in a much healthier position now thanks to Kickstart support – Aftab is now looking to expand his service offer and market to out of school clubs and community groups. He is much better equipped in terms of his marketing and online presence but also in the way he approaches problems and opportunities.
Telephone: 07707 974486