Lauren's a shining example to Wirral’s young people

Wirral Globe: Lauren Hall Lauren Hall

A DEAF teenager from Wirral wants to inspire others to achieve their dreams after being selected by the Football Association to take part in their future stars development programme.

Lauren Hall, who is 14 and a student at West Kirby Grammar School, has also set herself the task of representing Team GB in athletics in the future as well as raising cash to help others with disabilities.

Despite losing her hearing when she was six years old Lauren, from Irby, has refused to let her disability stand in her way.

As well as coping with her own problems she is also a carer for mum Karen, who is losing her sight through a rare genetic condition.

She said: "I am so proud to be her mum, she’s an inspiration to others with her positive attitude, zest for life, accepting new challenges and approaching her disability so positively."

Lauren plays mainstream football with Irby Girls Under 14s, has been part of the Everton squad and also plays with Liverpool FC Foundation Ability Counts.

She is currently helping mum set up a team for the proposed North West Deaf Football League so that others can benefit from inclusion through sport, and is looking to set up a local group, or possibly a charity that encourages children to be active and try new sports and activities.

Each month Lauren uses her pocket money to sponsor Logan, a Hearing Dog and Tilly, a Guide Dog to be able to help others with challenging disabilities.

She has also taken part in two triathlons to raise money for Wirral Deaf Children’s Society and other fund raising activities such as waitressing at the Mayor of Wirral's Strawberry Tea and helping pack bags at a local supermarket.

In November she was voted Merseyside’s Young Personality of the Year.

Cheshire County Football Association selected her for their Player Development Programme and also to play at the Lancashire FA Centre of Excellence in Leyland in their Development programme for talented young players.

This forms part of the FA's National Pathways to Success for football. She is the only female player selected for both programmes.

She takes an active part in helping develop the new North West Deaf Friendly Football League and is trying to organise a football festival on the Wirral next year.

Lauren's headteacher Kirsty Whiteley said: "Lauren really is an inspiration to all her friends and fellow students.

"She copes admirably with her disability and refuses to let it interfere with her day-to-day activities and future ambitions.

"We are extremely proud of her achievements both in her sporting career and in her fund raising activities to which she devotes so much of her free time.

"She's a shining example of what a young person can achieve if they set their mind to it."

Her latest initiative is to form a Wirral based charitable foundation through a football club for the deaf.

She has called the club Deaf Leopards and has already had the organisation affiliated to Cheshire County FA.

She's designed logos, posters and event tickets and is using social media to organise much needed fundraising events for the new club.

Mum Karen added: "Lauren is passionate about helping others achieve their full potential and wants this charity to provide opportunities to deaf and hearing impaired children.

"The charity’s aim is to provide access to sport, sporting achievement, courses, qualifications and even work-based apprenticeships for as many deaf and hearing impaired children as possible".

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