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The Independent Online
The John Clare Society, founded in 1981 to promote the life and work of the poet to a wider audience, is raising funds for the John Clare Bicentenary celebrations to be held next year. The celebrations include a song-cycle of Clare poems, a travelling exhibition including photographs inspired by Clare's poetry, a series of lectures and possibly a play, so far. John Clare (1793-1864) was born in the village of Helpston, Northamptonshire, where the society is now based and where, on Saturday 11 July, the 1992 annual Clare Festival will be held. The festival, which begins at 10am and lasts all day, welcomes members of the public: there will be organised walks around the village, exhibitions and books stalls in the school hall, refreshments at the village hall, and an afternoon bus-tour (with readings from Clare's poems) to 'Patty's country' - Patty was Clare's wife, who lived north of Stamford. The garden of Clare's birthplace, a cottage in the village, will be open on the day.

The John Clare Society, The Stables, 1a West Street, Helpston, Peterborough PE6 7DU, telephone 0733 252678.

Friends for the Young Deaf, a charity celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, encourages young deaf and partially deaf people to develop their skills and confidence so that they become active members of society, find employment and improve the quality of their life. It is particularly concerned with integrating the deaf and those who can hear by organising mutual activities so that both can learn that deafness need not be a barrier. The organisation has a four-stage training programme, costing pounds 2,000 per person, intended to achieve these aims; it is appealing to raise money so that more young people, who raise as much of the fees as they can, can participate. This summer, courses and activities include camping weekends, conservation weekends, an adventure week in Bude, Cornwall, walks and a sailing trip.

Friends of the Young Deaf, East Court Mansion, Council Offices, College Lane, East Grinstead, West Sussex RH19 3LT, telephone 0342 323444, 0342 312639 (minicom).

The Independent welcomes details of appeals from readers. They should be sent in writing (no more than 100 words) to Joanna Gibbon, Gazette, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB (fax 071-956 9358). Please include a daytime telephone number.

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