Special award for Fife girl who’s been teaching Lewis Capaldi sign language
Fife teenager Layla Cooke, who has been teaching people sign language, including singing star Lewis Capaldi, has been officially recognised for her work.
Layla (14), from Windygates, suffers from hearing loss and anxiety but has been using her disability to educate others.
She is one of Fife College’s youngest students and has now received the Outstanding Achievement award from Enable Scotland, a charity that supports people with learning disabilities and their families.
Layla is attending evening classes to study British Sign Language (BSL) for over a year since her hearing deteriorated and has been raising awareness of issues surrounding hearing loss and mental health.
*Layla with her award
She’s been doing this through her educational social media channels.
Setting up a Twitter page in August dedicated to teaching others BSL, Layla has already won over a number of fans, including singer Lewis Capaldi, who recently featured in one of her videos.
The teenager was invited backstage before Lewis’s Summer Sessions gig in Edinburgh and was delighted when he wanted to sing her ‘Happy Birthday’.
Layla uploaded a video to Twitter with Lewis in which she taught him how to perform the song in sign language.
Layla has making videos that teach her followers how to sing songs in sign language, as well as basic words and phrases.
In addition to this, Layla has been devoting her time to teaching a family to sign through Enable Scotland.
Layla’s inspiring work has also seen her make an appearance at Perth’s Christmas light show where she performed songs in BSL.
Layla said that she was “delighted” and “lucky” to have won considering that “there were so many people out there who deserved it.”
Layla started her social media channels because she felt that one of the issues of being deaf is that most people don’t know sign language.
She said, “It would be good if more people knew some sign and I think that if I want things to change, I need to start helping people learn it. It makes a massive impact in my life. It’s extremely helpful even to know some basic signs.”