Marcus helping to bridge gap between deaf and hearing

PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 August 2018

The Empowering Deaf Society in Ilford holding one of their regular meetings.

The Empowering Deaf Society in Ilford holding one of their regular meetings.


A 24-year-old volunteer working to bridge the gap between worlds of the deaf and the hearing is this week’s Young Citizen nominee.

The Empowering Deaf Society in Ilford holding one of their regular meetings.The Empowering Deaf Society in Ilford holding one of their regular meetings.

Marcus Pabon-Lara, 24, has been volunteering for more than two years with the Empowering Deaf Society, in Ley Street.

He was nominated by colleague Joel Perinpaul for supporting the charity with his poster designing skills, tutoring in British Sign Lanaguage (BSL) and hosting deaf workships and Redbridge Deaf Club.

“I was extremely surprised to her about the nomination,” he said.

“But at the same time I feel proud because it is a recognition for all my hard work.”

As a deaf person, he said the biggest challenge he faces is communicating with those who cannot sign and societal recognition of sign language.

He said: “BSL is a language just like French or German, it has its own grammar and is rich in history being recorded in 1760.

“However the Government only officially recognised it as a language in 2003.”

Talking about where he hopes his volunteering will take him, he said: “Each day I volunteer I believe that I am breaking down the walls of the two cultures my aim is to keep demolishing the wall and replace it with a bridge where we can all meet and sign.”

Joel has known Marcus since he joined the group two years ago as a project worker without any work experience.

He said: “Over the last two years he has shown and shined in our projects, clubs and after school clubs by conducting, organising and running the events.

“Marcus is a wonderful and kind person to work with, he never moans or complains.

“His can do and positive attitude to work is immediately felt around the office.”

He added: “Deaf people face daily challenges but Marcus has found a way to conquer his fear and prove himself worthy to receive this award.

The Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award is about celebrating the amazing young people in our borough.

It is run by the Recorder in conjunction with Redbridge Rotary Club, and sponsored by The Exchange shopping centre, Ilford, which provides each monthly winner with a £30 gift card.

The Young Citizen of the Year will be crowned at the Mayor’s Community Awards.

You can nominate any person who lives or works in Redbridge, as long as they are under 25, by emailing

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