Deaf entrepreneurs making a big impact

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Two pals who are both profoundly deaf have launched a business aimed at providing employment opportunities for deaf and disabled people.

Sean Lucas and Todd Garner set up ST Cleaning in St Helens with assistance from Enterprising Merseyside – an ambitious project aimed at helping more than 500 people start their own business.

The budding entrepreneurs have already secured a clutch of commercial cleaning contracts as well as domestic customers and are now planning to expand the company and employ more deaf and disabled people.

“We decided to go into business together as we are both deaf and are fully aware of the barriers deaf people face in their everyday lives and how they can struggle to find employment,” said Sean.

“We wanted to give people the opportunity of employment in our cleaning company and the communication problem is not proving a barrier.”

Both businessmen became deaf after contracting meningitis as young children.

Sean, 28, of Parr, was just three months old when he lost his hearing, whilst Todd was two when a bout of meningitis also resulted in the loss of the use of his limbs - forcing him to learn to walk again.

The pair had their very own “lightbulb moment” after learning about a similar community enterprise down south.

“We discovered that there was nothing similar in the North West so decided to give it a go by setting up our own venture as a community interest company,” added Sean.

Adrian Ellis, of St Helens Chamber, said: “Enterprising Merseyside is a terrific programme and we are working with an incredibly diverse range of new ventures.”

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