Giving Voice

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Spreading the word one person at a time...

“Speech and Language Therapy?? That’s a strange thing to study at uni….I guess there isn’t much need for it or many places to look for work…”

This was part of a conversation I had whilst at work this morning. I won’t say who said it as I honestly don’t think he meant any harm by it, he just obviously, like many other people, doesn’t understand the value of Speech and Language Therapy.

It made me feel a little disappointed and frustrated that the profession is still so misunderstood, however I’ve encountered this enough times now not to be surprised. I’m sure he wouldn’t think it was a strange thing to study if he knew someone who needed the specialist support of a Speech and Language Therapist.

He asked what made me choose Speech and Language Therapy so I took the opportunity to tell him a bit about the profession and how I want to help people communicate as everyone has the right to a voice.

It has actually led to more than one conversation, today, about the profession and my search for a job. He commented that he thought it was a 'bizarre' thing to study but after I explained about the variety of work we do and how fascinating I found the course, he agreed that it does sound quite interesting. I found myself quoting some key facts (such as ‘Speech and Language Therapy saves £765 million per year’, ‘one in three stroke survivors have speech, language or communication needs’) and he found these quite interesting, so it's worth memorising a few of these in case someone asks more about the profession :-). He seemed surprised there was such a need for speech and language therapy and was even more interested once I started with the key facts! Spreading the word one person at a time!

It was lovely to see so many people involved the Mass Tweet (#GivingVoiceUK) on Tuesday from 8pm. I think this was a great idea (thank you to Helen - Facebook admin of Support Giving Voice Campaign – Stop Speech and Language Therapy Cuts). Hopefully it helped to spread the word a little further.  I don’t know if we got #GivingVoiceUK trending but lots of people got involved – it’s not too late to start tweeting if you don’t already! I didn’t think I’d ever be able to understand Twitter and only properly started using it last year, despite having had an account for almost 3 years. I have actually surprised myself and found it’s not as complicated as I first though and I also quite enjoy it now! (so don’t use ‘it’s too complicated’ as an excuse until you’ve given it a proper chance! :-)

I came across the following picture through facebook and twitter and thought I’d share it here. Thanks to Claire Johnston for creating and sharing it! :-)


  1. That's a great blog and it is about informing one person at a time just think of it as a pebble being thrown into a pond and the circle of ripples that expand outwards!! And the picture I created it on keepcalm o matic!!

  2. Great Post. I want to train as a Speech and Language therapist and I'm trying to gain the experience so I can get on the course. Do you have any advice? I am due to start volunteering for Stroke and my local Blind Society. I have tried various option like contacting SLT for voluntary experience but no such luck. I am looking at support working/teaching assistant but as I have just completed my degree and don't have a NVQ they don't even look at me (endless amounts of posts about this over on my blog). It's a catch 22. Where did you qualify, what route did you take? I really want to do this line of work but it's tough just to get started :/

    1. Thanks for the feedback on my post. I completed the undergraduate course at Newcastle University in July last year. I went to uni straight after completing my A-levels. It sounds like the voluntary work that you have lined up will be really useful. It is extremely difficult to get voluntary work with SLT services - I think just speaking to someone in the field and finding out more about it could be useful - then you can mention that in your application. Most universities are aware at how difficult it is to get in touch with SLTs therefore this is unlikely to be a requirement with your application. I read a great book before I started uni 'A career in speech and language therapy' by Wright and Kersner which I would really recommened - you can probably buy it on amazon. It will help you prepare for what the courses entail and make sure it's definitely the course for you! :-) if there's anything else I can do to help just ask :-)