Mar 072016
Margaret Rennocks

Margaret Rennocks

Last week, I had the privilege to attend the launch of “Take Time for Yourself”- a DVD produced by Bridgend Deaf Club to supplement EPP Health and Wellbeing Courses for the deaf community. The DVD has broken new ground by being the first of its kind to feature British Sign Language (BSL).

Take Time for Yourself provides deaf people with the means to relieve and control stress levels and be able to relax in their own homes. It ensures the Deaf Community have a parity of service when experiencing Education Programmes for Patients (EPP) Cymru’s Health and Wellbeing courses.

Deaf people are at an increased risk of mental health problems including anxiety, depression and poor self-esteem, so having access to this DVD will go some way to combating these problems and providing much needed support for the deaf community.

Since 2010, the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board (ABMUHB) EPP team has been providing EPP Health & Wellbeing courses for the deaf community. EPP courses support people that live with a long term health condition or care for someone else. A key component of EPP courses is recognising the importance of positive mental health, so people that take part in an EPP course are offered a relaxation CD. This enables people to reap the benefits of relaxation and stress relief in their everyday lives.

During the run of courses however, it soon became evident that having no BSL equivalent to the relaxation CD put the deaf community at a disadvantage. The need for a more accessible resource for the deaf community was realised, and the hard work of making the film began. One of the course participants, Andrea Temblett, offered to narrate the DVD entirely in BSL. The fantastic work of all those involved has been recognised in winning three awards, including the 2015 NHS Wales Award group winner.

The EPP team in 1000 Lives Improvement provides the infrastructure and support which enables the Health Boards to run EPP courses. Two deaf people have now been trained as EPP tutors, and 1000 Lives are distributing the DVD so that it is available throughout Wales. The EPP programme continues to gain momentum, as in 2015 185 EPP courses were provided across Wales and 1767 individuals completed an EPP course.

Take Time for Yourself is an invaluable resource in the EPP portfolio, and 1000 Lives Improvement are proud to work with ABMUHB and the deaf community in enhancing accessibility for all.

If you’re interested in procuring a copy of Take Time for Yourself, write to

Update: The film is now available to view in its entirety on YouTube here.

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