Hi! My name is Codie, I am 18 years old and I have started learning BSL. I am hoping to start university in September, where I will be moving from the countryside to the city to study a course which allows me to work with young children. In my work experience, I have come across children with a range of additional needs, including one boy who had never learned to speak, but was always listening and learning. Nobody in the school knew how to correctly communicate with him, meaning he was often subconsciously excluded by the other young children who found it difficult to be around him. Along with this, I work part time in retail and understand the importance of allowing people to be independent. Learning sign language would make my work place more accessible for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, and increase the independence of some people in my area who find it difficult to be alone due to needing to communicate in non-verbal ways. Along with this, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has forced me to leave school early and caused a lot of uncertainty. Learning this new skill is not only beneficial to other people, but also to myself, as it allows me to feel like I'm achieving something, even if it is only minor like learning one or two new signs. I'm excited to see how the rest of my learning goes and what else I can achieve, and to see how BSL helps my day to day life.