Giving Voice

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

A Quiz, some chocolate and a Ukulele!

This afternoon I attended an Over 50’s Club in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, with another SLT (Liz Panton) to talk about Giving Voice, and Speech and Language Therapy.  Before I got there I was a little nervous, as the prospect of talking to a group of pensioners was a little daunting. However, they welcomed us with open arms and I soon got into my stride!
I shared my Giving Voice poem (How would you feel?)  which everyone seemed to enjoy. I thought this was a nice introduction to what Speech and Language Therapy is about.  I asked the group (of about 40 people) if anyone had heard of Speech and Language Therapy before today and only 2 people raised their hands. I talked about the work we do and about why it is important.  I also talked about Giving Voice, my campaigning and the work of the campaign so far. I told them that two weeks today (!!) I will be talking to our MP Ian Lavery in Westminster as part of a mass mobilisation J I talked for about 10-15 minutes and then Liz very kindly played her ukulele song (fantastic!)
I gave everyone some chocolates to eat as they were completing the quiz, and everyone received a pen and a leaflet. The winning quiz team were rewarded in chocolate (which went down well!) I asked everyone to pass on the leaflet and tell someone one thing they learnt today to help Give Voice a little further!
I asked everyone to complete a speech bubble but not many people did. I asked one lady what communication means to her and she said “what does it mean to me? Well it’s everything!” Which I thought was very well said!
At the end of the talk one of the group members told us that her late husband had a stroke which left him with significant communication difficulties. Following his stroke he received speech and language therapy, which she says was fantastic.   For the last 8 and a half years of his life, she spent every afternoon using an old type writer to communicate with her husband, typing a message and patiently waiting for him to type his response.  
One of the people attending the group this afternoon works in a care home (and was accompanying one of the residents to the group). She took some leaflets and posters to take back to work with her and said she thinks the care home may be interested in me talking there. I gave her my email address in case she would like to get in touch (watch this space!)
I have contacted 2 local newspapers about this afternoon, so fingers crossed I will hear something back J
I had a lovely afternoon and would thoroughly recommend other people contacting local groups such as this to Give Voice!
Liz and I after the talk

Me and the Winning Quiz team

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