LOCAL organisations are getting to grips with sign language in a bid to open up the world for deaf children in the community.

Inverclyde Gymnastics Club recently included sign language in their annual show for the first time and coach Christine Anderson, who works as a pupil support assistant in the Garvel Deaf Centre, feels it was a significant moment of progress.

One of her young gymnasts, Olivia Fisher, is deaf and a pupil at Garvel.

Christine said: "It was so moving to be able to sign our finale to include Olivia and her family.

"She is a fantastic gymnast and it is important to me that gymnastics is inclusive and open to everyone."

As well as supporting sign language the gymnastics club donated £500 to the centre, which is based within Moorfoot Primary, to help fund trips for their children

Olivia, eight, said: "I loved taking part in the show.

"It was amazing to be there."

Garvel principal teacher Karen Macleod believes there has been a positive spin-off from deaf actress Rosie Ayling-Ellis winning the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing.

She said: "It has opened people's eyes to what our children are experiencing and it has changed everything.

"I can't thank Inverclyde Gymnastics enough for their donation, which will help us organise trips to meet up with other deaf children."