Eirwen Carpenter 1948 – 2009
Head of Hearing Impaired Service, Neath/Port Talbot
Sheila Barker remembers Eirwen Carpenter and her work, especially with families and young deaf children.
Eirwen sadly had to retire earlier than she wished from the profession she had loved.
After completing the Teacher of the Deaf Course in London Eirwen returned to Swansea and accepted the post at the H.I.U. at Olchfa Comprehensive School.
Eirwen was very much a family person, who thoroughly enjoyed her time at home bringing up her four children when they were small. On returning to work she worked in the Nursery Class in Hengwrt Primary School, Briton Ferry, until she was tempted back to peripatetic work.
It is her work with young children and their families that was her forte. She had a tremendous empathy for them. Time and again she would also spend her free time giving support and showing great acts of kindness from her own ‘call of duty’.
As team leader in Neath/Port Talbot she doggedly fought for the rights of deaf children and their families. The Pre-School Playgroup flourished and grew from strength to strength due to her persistency and incredible talent working with babies.
She was passionate about parental choice, whether mainstream, specialised Resource or Welsh Medium.
Eirwen developed exceptional working relationships with other professionals, particularly the ENT Consultants and Audiologists in local hospitals. She inspired their loyalty and support in her work with deaf children.
This paragon of virtue did have a fault! Her time keeping was something she inevitably got teased about. However she was usually late because she had been delayed in a meeting fighting the corner for the deaf!
Eirwen was on the committee of BATOD (Wales) for many years and Chair in 2002-2003. She liked to keep abreast of research and combine up to date methods with good old-fashioned caring and common sense.
It is hard to put into so few words, the essence of Eirwen and the positive effect she had on deaf children and their families. To quote one father: “She helped so much and without her, I couldn’t have made the right preparations for my daughter’s future.”
We enjoyed working with her and sadly miss her.
Eirwen herself would hope that her legacy was in the children with whom she worked. She would hope they went on to enjoy their lives and strive to achieve their potential.