A 78-YEAR-OLD former nurse was inspired to learn sign language after taking part in a nationwide creativity challenge.
Judith Pearson, a resident at Hazelgrove Court Care Home, on Randolph Street, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, learned her first signs during the 64 Million Artists January Challenge.
After completing the challenge last month, Judith wanted to continue expanding on her newfound interest and started a British Sign Language course.
The course covered basic signs, including colours, numbers, time, family, and verbs, with an assessment at the end.
After practising every day, Judith got a pass rate of 80% and a proficiency certificate. Now she wants to continue learning more words so she can eventually converse with other sign language users.
She said: “I always wanted to learn sign language as I was a nurse and would have found many opportunities to use it. But I was always too busy and never found the time.
“When we were all doing the 64 Million Artists January Challenge, it made me think I could still do it, and I was delighted when we found a basic course we could do.
“You’re never too old to learn a new skill and I think sign language should be taught in schools.”
Sharon Lewis, activities coordinator at Hazelgrove Court Care Home, has been practising sign language with Judith.
She said: “Judith was really keen to learn so I had a look online and found a British Sign Language course and registered Judith to take part with her tutor, Alison.
“At present we practice together but, when we’re able to get out and about a bit more, she will be able to practice and converse with other sign language users.
“She was also looking forward to surprising her daughter, Karen, as she kept her learning from her. She was excited to send the photo of her signing the word “happy” and Karen was over the moon for her.”
“She was nervous when she did the assessment but she did really well and we’re all so proud of her.”