Ray’s prize is a sign of things to come

Ray Williams who has won a  national award for his sign language skills
Ray Williams who has won a national award for his sign language skills
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A sign language interpreter from St Helens has been shortlisted for a high-profile national award.

Ray Williams, whose parents are both deaf, was brought up using both English and British sign language.

The former Rainford High pupil, 24, now a director at Children of Deaf Adults (CODA), has been named one of four finalists in the Signature communication professional of the year award.

He said: “I’ve been lucky enough to work with hundreds of deaf parents, volunteers and professionals in the last three years, and I hope to continue making a difference in the deaf community. It’s an honour and a privilege to be nominated for this award and recognised for the work I do.

“I am incredibly passionate about providing high quality interpreting for individuals and organisations that need help breaking down communication barriers.”

Ray, who grew up in Moss Bank, says he knew from an early age that he wanted to be a sign language interpreter.

After spending a year as a communication support worker at a media company in London, which saw him interpret TV programmes for Channel 5 and CBBC, he qualified as a registered sign language interpreter.

He has since become heavily involved with CODA UK.

Signature chief executive, Jim Edwards, said: “The Signature annual awards are a great opportunity to acknowledge communication professionals like Ray, who is described by his colleagues as being inspirational and motivational.

“His clients are equally complimentary, highlighting his professionalism, confidence and flexibility.

“Ray is excellent at what he does and is skilled in interpreting even in heavily technical business environments.

“In addition, the fact that CODA UK has gone from strength to strength is testament to Ray’s hard work and commitment.”