Giving Voice

Friday, 29 July 2011

A little bit of Everything...

I’ve not written here for a few days as I’ve been looking after my little niece so I thought I’d post something before the weekend. A few things to update:

Unfortunately the appointment I arranged to meet a local councillor this afternoon was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances (on the councillor’s part) so we have agreed to rearrange a suitable time.

I followed up two of my councillor letters by email this morning so hopefully I will hear from them soon J

I had an email from someone asking how to find out who your local MP is so thought I would share here how you do it in case anyone isn’t sure what to do J

Click on this link à and search via constituency or your postcode J

This will tell you who your MP is, with contact details for Westminster and your Constituency. Good luck with contacting your MP (and don’t forget the mass mobilisation event in October!)

I was surprised and delighted to see that Giving Voice was mentioned in the Ashington Extra again this week (a couple of pages in) – it was very similar to what was on the front page last month. It seemed to be confused reporting though as it said I raised money for Giving Voice and the North East Trust for Aphasia. But it was still nice to see it in there seeing as I hadn't actually contacted them again.

Have a lovely weekend! J

Monday, 25 July 2011

Save the date!

I had an exciting phone call earlier today! It was from my MP’s office regarding the mass mobilisation event on Tuesday 18th October!

I have a provisional appointment with my local MP (Ian Lavery) at 2.30pm in central lobby (Westminster). Exciting times!

I am really looking forward to being part of this important event where we can all come together and Give Voice at the same time in the heart of UK Government! This event has the potential to be really influential in terms of Giving Voice and raising awareness of Speech and Language Therapy with people at the centre of decision making! J

If you haven’t already signed up - find out more here:Mass Mobilisation Event

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Better late than never...

I realised earlier today that although I have been trying to encourage other people to design speech bubbles and upload videos onto the Giving Voice website I haven’t actually uploaded a video with my own message. So I decided to do something about it (to practice what I preach, so to speak).  You may have read in Friday’s blog that I wrote a poem about communication and Speech and Language therapy. I decided to make this into a video as my Giving Voice message. Check out the video to hear my message J It's better late than never!  
Why not upload your own video message to share why you are Giving Voice?
Check out my video here

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Sticky Situations...

A simple idea to promote Giving Voice... (you may have read about this idea on the facebook page a few days ago but I thought step by step instructions might be useful J

·         Get some small sticky labels from a stationary shop - the smallest are 65 per sheet which I find is a good size. (I paid about £8.50 for 100 sheets - so that's 6500 stickers!)
·         Ensure you ask for the Avery number so you can print the labels the correct size with ease.
·         Using the computer (in a program such as Microsoft Word) design address labels (ensuring you select the correct Avery number for the labels you bought)
·         Design the stickers using the Giving Voice logo (from website) and web address
·         If there is room put the facebook logo on too (to let people know they can find out more there!)
·         Once you are happy with your design you can click print! (I printed one first to check I was happy with my sticker design. I then made a few changes before printing the full sheet of 65.)
~ I’ve printed some Giving Voice stickers, now what should I do with them? ~
You can use them however you think but here are a few ideas of how I have been using mine:
·         Letters: Each time I post a letter I seal the envelope with a Giving Voice sticker, as well as sticking one on the front bottom left – particularly useful when writing to MP’s and councilors! (and even the posties might notice them! J)
·         Events: If you are going to an event it is good to stick them on people there! We had almost everyone at the street fair walking around wearing Giving Voice stickers (only a few people said they didn’t want one!) Also, at the university undergraduate visit days we stuck them to people walking round the subject fair (don’t forget to ask people’s permission though!)
·         Everyday: Stick one on your jacket when you are going out and about (it gets the logo noticed even more) – my mam and I were walking round Ashington town centre wearing a sticker each this afternoon!
Let’s use Giving Voice stickers in lots of situations! If you have any other ideas about how we could use Giving Voice stickers, please share them here or on the facebook page J

Friday, 22 July 2011

From Deflation to Elation...

On 4th July I wrote to seven of Northumberland’s councillors about the Giving Voice campaign and so far haven’t had a response from any of them L I began to follow this up with telephone calls this afternoon...
I didn’t have time to contact all seven today but I made a start J councillor one didn’t answer so I left a voicemail and followed up with an email. I spoke to councillor two who said she probably received my letter but couldn’t recall. I felt like I had inconvenienced her by calling and she asked why I thought this matter was of importance to her.. I explained a bit more about the campaign and asked if we could meet to discuss it further. She told me she isn’t in a position to make any decisions at the moment (with regards to meeting me) and gave me the contact details of someone else.  I sent an email following the telephone call so I’ll see what happens with that..  I felt slightly deflated after the phone call as she was difficult to talk to... however, she did give me the contact details of someone else J
Councillor one called me back later this afternoon and we arranged an appointment to meet for next Friday at 2.30pm! Exciting times J (watch this space!) I plan to contact councillors three-seven sometime next week to follow up the letters I sent.
This afternoon I was looking at Ian Lavery’s Website and came across a piece that seems to have been written the week after I met him. (see link below) He mentions meeting me about Giving Voice :-) - He usually writes in the Ashington Extra every week but I didn’t see this piece printed (though I have been looking!)
I was pleased to see Giving Voice printed somewhere else (though I don’t know how many people read Ian Lavery’s website.)
I wrote a poem about Giving Voice/speech and language therapy today which I will share over the next few days so keep checking back!
All in all it’s been a rather good Friday in terms of Giving Voice, and I’m ready for a nice relaxing weekend!  

Thursday, 21 July 2011

MP adds Voice to Campaign (News Post Leader!)

This morning, I was delighted to see that Giving Voice has made it to the News Post Leader again, with the headline ‘MP adds Voice to Campaign’. There’s a short piece about the campaign and my involvement at the Gala day, as well as MP Ian Lavery’s support. Unfortunately, they haven’t printed the website address though (but they did last week so hopefully people might have seen that too!)
There is also a photo of Ian Lavery and myself at the stall at the Gala day on Sunday! J I can’t see anything on the News Post Leader website at the moment, but I’ll keep checking!

(It's on page 12 of  this week's Leader if you get it and want to have a look)

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Giving Voice - front page of local paper!

Excited! Excited! Excited! More publicity for Giving Voice! J
My friend text me earlier to say she’d seen me in the Ashington Extra! So I was excited to hear the thud of the paper through the door earlier this evening, and even more excited to see the headline on the side of the front page! The piece mentions both the stalls I held in Ashington for Giving Voice (and fundraising for the North East Trust for Aphasia), and states that Ian Lavery, MP for Wansbeck attended to show his support!
I emailed the paper on Sunday night but hadn’t heard back so it was a lovely surprise to see that it has made it to the front page. I was disappointed that they didn’t print the website but hopefully, anyone that is interested in finding out more will search online J
There’s nothing on the Ashington Extra website at the moment (apart from the article which was published before the first stall – which does state the website) – but I will keep looking and share it if anything appears J

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

News Post Leader... :)

I was delighted to see that there is a short piece in this week’s News Post Leader about my stall at the Street Fair (26.06.2011) - check it out on page 24 if you get the paper. They also directed people to the Giving Voice website J so hopefully a few more people will check it out! Here’s the online version of the write up in the News Post Leader:

Wansbeck Gala Day

On Sunday I held a stall at Wansbeck Gala Day on Station Road, Ashington. It was pouring with rain but this didn’t put us off. I was determined to spread some more awareness of Giving Voice, and kept focusing on the (tiny) bit of blue sky I could see peeping through the clouds. After the lovely weather at the last fair day (June 26th) I was hopeful the day would brighten up. My positivity paid off as about an hour in to the event the sun began to shine (and our coats came off!). I was delighted to see that Ian Lavery, MP for Wansbeck accepted my invitation to visit our stall and he came over to talk to me about Giving Voice. I told him that I have written to him regarding mass mobilisation on October 18th and he said he will look out for my letter :-) I also got a photo of me with Ian Lavery at our stall, which I hope to use to publicise the campaign some more.
Sadly the sunshine did not last long before the rain started again.  The stall was still a success though, and we gave out more than 200 Giving Voice stickers and more than 50 balloons. I also engaged a number of people in conversation about the campaign and speech and language therapy. A few people remembered us from the stall a few weeks ago and came to interact with us further.
We packed up early as the rain just kept getting heavier and showed no sign of stopping. I think the stall was still a success and hopefully at least one of the people who now know about the campaign will go and have a look at the Giving Voice website ( or facebook page J

Monday, 18 July 2011

The Story so Far...

I’ve been involved in the Giving Voice campaign since the beginning of the year. It’s a year long campaign and I can’t believe we’re more than half way through already! A year seems like a long time in January but I’m sure you all relate to how quickly time passes and I’m still not quite sure where the last 6 and a half months have gone!!
My Giving Voice campaigning so far has included being a ‘Twitface’ on Metro Radio, supporting a locally arranged Flashmob, lobbying my local MP (Ian Lavery), and arranging a stall at local Ashington street fair (once in glorious sunshine J and once in pouring rain!L). I am thoroughly enjoying being involved in this important campaign and it is rewarding when people realise how important speech and language therapy is, and inspiring when they share their personal experiences of how it has helped them :D
 I hope to use this blog to share simple ideas about how you can get involved in the campaign as well as raise some more awareness of the importance of Speech and Language Therapy. I also want to keep you up to date with my campaigning and hope it provides some inspiration for you to get involved too! Please check back and share the blog with your family and friends.