Co-operatives Fortnight: meet a co-operative founded by the Deaf Community

Co-operatives provide services that are created, and used, by their members. They exist in many sectors for different reasons. What they share in common is People Power – the driving force that makes them happen!

Today, is about ‘Conwy Deaf Translation and Support Service‘ – a co-operative founded by the Deaf Community, for the Deaf Community.

‘Care to Co-operate’ are supporting Conwy Deaf and Translation Service to provide an essential need in their local area, and this is their story so far (scroll down for Welsh translation)…


Conwy Deaf Translation and Support Service – a good sign for the Deaf Community!

Imagine you can’t read your post or speak to someone on the telephone? What would you do? Where would you go for help? These challenges are stressful for deaf people and can lead to serious problems. That’s where Conwy Deaf Translation and Support Service (CDTSS) come in – it’s a co-operative that takes the stress away for deaf people with day-to-day assistance with communication.

“I remember when the original service closed in 2016… that was a huge barrier for deaf people. I had a lot of letters and they were piling up… I was concerned I was going to be fined” – Jonathan Lloyd, Co-operative Member

British Sign Language is the only way some deaf people communicate, so a translation service using sign language is essential to make sense of information and phone calls. The closure of the service in Conwy left people in a panic. So a determined local group of Deaf People got together to launch their own translation service, CDTSS. Such a service is vital as research shows 40% of deaf people have a mental health condition and a reliable service makes a huge difference to their well-being.

The group contacted Care to Co-operate, a service that helps people set up co-operatives to provide care and support in their community. During initial CDTSS meetings, the group transformed into a co-operative, with members deciding together how to run the translation and support services. Care to Co-operate worked alongside the members, providing information and guidance, to turn their aspirations into a reality – improving the lives of members in the community.   

“When someone arrives, they look sad and worried. But once they’ve come out of the translation service, they are so much happier and smiling” – Fiona Duller, Co-operative Founding Member

Having been formed by Deaf People with first-hand experience of what support is required, the CDTSS co-operative is more than a translation service. It goes further, providing all manner of general support, including questions on how to use social media or advice on private matters. The co-operative has created a place in Conwy where the Deaf Community are confident they will get the assistance they need. 

Johnathan Lloyd; “I’m so proud of this service – it solves all your problems. I sleep wonderfully now – it’s great!”


Gwasanaethau Cyfieithu a Chymorth i Bobl Fyddar Conwy  – arwydd da i’r Gymuned o Bobl Fyddar!

Dychmygwch pe na allwch ddarllen eich post neu siarad â rhywun ar y ffôn? Beth fyddech chi’n ei wneud? At bwy fyddech yn troi i gael cymorth? Mae’r heriau hyn yn achosi straen i bobl fyddar a gall arwain at broblemau difrifol. Dyna ble y mae Gwasanaethau Cyfieithu a Chymorth i Bobl Fyddar Conwy (CDTSS) yn gallu helpu – mae’n fenter gydweithredol sy’n tynnu’r straen oddi ar bobl fyddar gyda chymorth o ddydd i ddydd â chyfathrebu.

“Rwy’n cofio pan wnaeth y gwasanaeth gwreiddiol gau yn 2016… roedd hynny’n rhwystr enfawr i bobl fyddar. Roedd gennyf nifer o lythyrau ac roeddent yn pentyrru… roeddwn yn poeni fy mod yn mynd i gael dirwy” – Jonathan Lloyd, Aelod o’r Fenter Gydweithredol

Iaith Arwyddion Prydain yw’r unig ffordd y mae rhai pobl fyddar yn cyfathrebu, felly mae gwasanaeth cyfieithu gan ddefnyddio iaith arwyddion yn hanfodol er mwyn deall gwybodaeth a galwadau ffôn. Gwnaeth cau’r gwasanaeth hwn yng Nghonwy achosi i bobl fynd i banig. Felly, daeth grŵp lleol penderfynol o Bobl Fyddar ynghyd i lansio eu gwasanaeth cyfieithu eu hunain, CDTSS. Mae gwasanaeth o’r fath yn hanfodol gan fod ymchwil yn dangos bod gan 40% o bobl fyddar gyflwr iechyd meddwl ac mae gwasanaeth dibynadwy yn gwneud gwahaniaeth enfawr i’w llesiant.

Cysylltodd y grŵp â Cydweithredu i Ofalu, sef gwasanaeth sy’n helpu pobl i sefydlu mentrau cydweithredol i roi gofal a chymorth yn eu cymunedau. Yn ystod cyfarfodydd cychwynnol CDTSS, trawsnewidiodd y grŵp i fod yn fenter gydweithredol, gyda’r aelodau yn penderfynu gyda’i gilydd ar sut i redeg y gwasanaethau cyfieithu a chymorth. Gweithiodd Cydweithredu i Ofalu ochr yn ochr â’r aelodau, gan ddarparu gwybodaeth a rhoi arweiniad, i droi eu dyheadau yn wirionedd – gan wella bywydau aelodau yn y gymuned.   

“Pan fydd rhywun yn cyrraedd, maent yn edrych yn drist ac yn ofnus. Ond unwaith y maent wedi gadael y gwasanaeth cyfieithu, maent yn hapusach o lawer ac yn gwenu” – Fiona Duller, Aelod Sefydlu’r Fenter Gydweithredol

Gan ei bod wedi cael ei sefydlu gan Bobl Fyddar sydd â phrofiad uniongyrchol o ba gymorth sydd ei angen, mae menter gydweithredol CDTSS yn fwy na gwasanaeth cyfieithu yn unig. Mae’n mynd gam ymhellach, gan ddarparu pob math o gymorth cyffredinol, gan gynnwys cwestiynau ar sut i ddefnyddio’r cyfryngau cymdeithasol neu gymorth ar faterion preifat. Mae’r fenter gydweithredol wedi creu lle yng Nghonwy lle y mae’r Gymuned o Bobl Byddar yn hyderus y cânt y cymorth sydd ei angen arnynt. 

Johnathan Lloyd; “Rwy’ mor falch o’r gwasanaeth hwn – mae’n datrys eich problemau i gyd. Rwy’n cysgu’n dda iawn nawr – mae’n wych!”


Care to Co-operate has supported people and organisations to work co-operatively, to design and run services, for over three years. Do you have an idea for a care and support co-operative?  If so, Care to Co-operate would love to speak to you! You can get in touch by e-mail [email protected], call 0300 111 5050, visit care.wales.coop or Tweet us at @ThomasWalesCoop

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar