About us — History
During 1872, a charity working in Birmingham called the Birmingham Town Mission set up an innovative new scheme. This was an ‘outreach to the deaf and dumb community’. Mr W. A. Griffiths, who was Deaf himself, was appointed as ‘Missionary’. He gave Christian lectures and also began making home visits amongst the deaf community.
This work grew to such an extent that The Birmingham Adult Deaf and Dumb Association was formed as a separate charity. Over the next 30 years the association developed and became established, but without a central meeting place. Finally in 1932 enough funds were raised to convert a warehouse and stables in Granville Street, Birmingham as the city’s first Deaf centre.
One of BID’s earliest achievements came in 1952 when it became the first voluntary charity in the UK to establish a contract with a local authority to provide the legally required Social Work service for the deaf community.
By the early seventies, BID was running out of space and needed to move to a new building. The Trustees launched an appeal and funds of £57,000 were raised. In 1973, the offices finally moved from their Granville Street premises to Ladywood Road.
Further expansion of services meant that in 1998 additional space was required. Premises in Monument Road were leased, meaning that the services were now operating on two sites.
Funds were raised and a building project started to demolish the old deaf centre and create the UK's first Deaf Cultural Centre on the same site in Ladywood Road. The Deaf Cultural Centre was opened by HRH The Princess Royal on 10th September 2007. The 3 story building provides conference facilities, cafe and bar on the ground floor and offices for bid services on the two floors above. If you would like more information on Deaf Cultural Centre please look at the Deaf Cultural Centre website: www.deafculturalcentre.com.