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2020 hasn’t all been bad!

Nicky Evans • Dec 17, 2020 • 4 min read

We thought we’d take a quick look at everything that’s happened over the past year. It’s made us realise just how much work we’ve done and how much has been achieved.

Support Signalise visual with helping hands


We started the year off with the last of our five consultation workshops, asking people what they would like to see in a platform for booking interpreters, how they wanted the booking system to work, issues they would like to resolve and how any profits could be reinvested. The feedback and information being shared was so useful. Thank you so much to everyone who came along and took part. It is so important that our communities — deaf people and interpreters, are able to tell us what they want and what we need to do to achieve this.

UnLtd Funding:

We received support from UnLtd to establish the co-operative and start work. These paid for registration with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), insurance, marketing costs (including our initial website), sign language translations and our engagement work.

We also undertook a survey and independent disability consultant and author, Ellen Clifford was commissioned to produce our report "Signing the Right Path". This was published in August 2020.

These activities were used to co-create the platform design. We are so grateful to UnLtd for all the support they have provided.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation:

The funding received from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation has allowed us to start developing the platform. We couldn’t have started this without their support. We are nearing the end of this work so we can start testing the prototype with users.

Co-operatives UK:

We would like to thank Co-operatives UK, for the Hive programme, which provided us with a consultant to set up the co-operative and create our governance structures and many staff members for their ongoing support. Special thanks also go to Equal Care Co-op for their advice and support, Ludovica Rogers and Petra Morris at Co-ops UK, Sion Whellens at Principle Six and Andrew Woodcock at Acorn Co-op Support.

Baxter and Bailey:

We have worked with Baxter and Bailey who helped us with a new name and produced our amazing branding which we absolutely love! Our new identity has undoubtedly helped and is very easily recognisable. We are looking forward to working more with them again in the new year.


In September, we launched a crowdfunder and smashed our initial target of £5,000! We went on to raise £8,600 by the time it closed. We have still had more donations coming in and have now reached our stretch target of £10,000!

We had some fantastic support from Crowdfunder, who waived our fees and also NatWest’s Back Her Business, who gave an extra £2,500 of funding towards the campaign.

We also had a lot of support from John McDonnell MP, Nadia Whittome MP, Kerena Marchant, Jacqui Beckford, Nicola McCabe, Alban Ward-Welch and others who, kindly recorded video messages for us. These can all be viewed on our website.

Unite the Union:

Branches across the Unite the Union NW region have been fantastic supporters and we cant thank them enough. Read our recent piece on this here.

Power to Change:

We have received support from Power to Change to help us get our legal and governance structures in place. As a bilingual co-op, this has been invaluable to have funds to ensure our governance is co-created and accessible.

Lloyds Trade Up:

We have been helped with marketing and business planning from the Lloyds Trade Up Programme and have learnt so much from this. We are very grateful and look forward to more into 2021.

Future Innovation Fund

What a way to end the year! We are so pleased to have received this funding from the Future Innovation Fund, as it’s not only going to help us add extra features to the website, it is an endorsement of what we are trying to achieve. We are so excited about this!

We work better together visual with helping hands

It’s not only been funding…

A co-operative is only as strong as its members. The support has been amazing and we want to say a huge thank you to everyone that has worked so hard to make Signalise a reality. Without us all, none of this would be happening. We are very excited about the year ahead and to continue working towards our shared goal of innovating interpreting services by the experts… us!