Inspiring lass from Strathaven proves a point

Caitlin Salmond from Strathaven travelled to Birmingham to take part in the event.
Caitlin Salmond from Strathaven travelled to Birmingham to take part in the event.

Talented deaf performer Caitlin Salmond, 9, from Strathaven, showed off her musical talents at a showcase event in Birmingham organised by the National Deaf Children’s Society.

Caitlin was selected from dozens of hopefuls by the charity to take part in Raising the Bar, an intensive weekend of workshops in music, dance and drama, culminating in a showcase performance.

Caitlin, along with 19 other talented youngsters, spent the weekend at the Ruddock Performance Arts Centre being mentored by professional deaf musicians, dancers and actors before demonstrating her extraordinary talents on stage in front of dozens of parents, family and friends.

The Raising the Bar event was designed to inspire deaf young people and show that there is nothing in the arts that deaf children can’t achieve with the right support.

Mentoring the performers were the leading deaf performance companies Music and the Deaf, Deaf Men Dancing and Deafinitely Theatre.

The 20 young people, ranging in age from 8 to 16, were selected after an application process that saw them submit videos of their talents in music, dance and drama, demonstrating the skills they had acquired, their personal journeys and the barriers they had overcome.

Damian Ball of the National Deaf Children’s Society, said: “It filled me with pride to watch Caitlin and the other deaf youngsters display their incredible talents – what a wonderful evening filled with truly memorable performances!

“It was great to see so many young people showing their families, friends and each other exactly what can be achieved in life with a bit of belief, drive and dedication.

“So often I hear people think deaf people can’t achieve in life – but this couldn’t be further from the truth. This weekend demonstrated so clearly that with the right support, deaf young people can aim for the stars and prove the doubters wrong.”

This year the Raising the Bar project, and the work it is doing to inspire deaf youngsters to have arts careers, caught the attention of deaf Hollywood actress Millicent Simmonds, star of A Quiet Place who congratulated everyone on their achievements.