Building society signs up for extra skills

Latest business news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest business news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Building society staff have signed up to a new venture aimed at making life easier for customers with hearing problems.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing will now be able to use sign language in the Ipswich Building Society’s branches in Sudbury and Hadleigh.

Both branches now have a specially-trained member of staff who has completed a 10-week course in the basics of British Sign Language.

Customer advisers Stacey Bunn and Alex Deal volunteered for the role and will also go on refresher sessions to keep their signing skills up to scratch.

Paul Winter, chief executive of the Ipswich Building Society, said: “We encourage our staff to go the extra mile in their approach to customer service and we hope these newly-acquired skills will make a difference.

“Our aim is to enable all our members to communicate clearly and easily with our staff.”

The society, which has nine branches and five agencies in Suffolk, worked with a social work practice that supports adults with sight or hearing loss to provide the weekly training for a total of eight employees.

Stacey has worked at the Sudbury branch for four years. She lives in Great Cornard and is married with two daughters.

Alex, who is a customer adviser at Hadleigh, has been with IBS for almost three years.

It is no surprise he is keen to plunge into a new project ... out of working hours he is head coach at Hadleigh Swimming Club.