Giving Voice

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Balloons, Cake and Glorious Sunshine!

What a glorious day it was yesterday! The sun shone and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The beautiful weather brought lots of people outdoors to Saltwell Park, Gateshead. The Family Fun day and walk was organised by the Stroke Association and I spoke to someone prior to the event to ask for permission to hand out Giving Voice leaflets. I was delighted when they said that was fine! There was a lot of entertainment in the park, including Zumba, live music, tombola, raffle, dancing, face painting and cake!

We set up our table on a nice spot on the grass ready to hand out leaflets and balloons. We were set up between the face painting stand and the cake stall, which turned out to be really good as it was a great opportunity to give children balloons while they were waiting to have their face painted. Each child we gave a balloon too, we gave a leaflet to the parents and told them a little bit about Speech and Language Therapy and the Giving Voice campaign. Most people were quite interested and the balloons went down well with the children.
I engaged a few people in particularly interesting conversations about their experiences of speech and language therapy, as well as talking to some Stroke Association volunteers about Giving Voice. One lady I spoke to said all three of her children have had speech and language therapy at some point, most recently her youngest child, for feeding. She said she was surprised to find out that it would be a speech and language therapist who would help her son with feeding, but that he is now able to eat lumpy foods.

 A few people wrote their thoughts about speech and language therapy/what communication means to them on a nice pink speech bubble. Here are some of them:

"Communication is a blessing, not a right of passage. As someone who is dyspraxic I still find communicating a challenge. When I communicate successfully I get to learn about the world and others around me get a better understanding of who I am and what it's like to be me"
“Communication is vital in all parts of life for the needs of the person in question”
“ the power to be understood...makes relationships easier...helps to make relating to the world and your environment easier.”
"Speech and Language Therapy is really good and it has really helped my two little girls talk and tell me what they has also helped my son eat lumpy foods! Thanks to everyone that trains to be a therapist great work!"
We gave out approximately 65 leaflets, 5 badges, 20 stickers and 60 balloons. It was a lovely day and it was nice to Give Voice out in the sunshine. I was wearing my Giving Voice t-shirt and a badge, and my parents were wearing a Giving Voice badge each too!
I only found out about this event fairly last minute but it was definitely worth making the phone call to ask if we could go along.  There were hundreds of people at the event, and although I wasn’t able to speak everyone individually, it was worth it for the people we did speak to. We also had the Giving Voice pop up banner which lots of people were reading as they walked past – spreading the message that little bit further that ‘Speech and Language Therapy Transforms Lives’ 

I read an Old Chinese Proverb recently ‘The man who moved a mountain is the one who started taking away the small stones’ – I think this applies to campaigning, and Giving Voice – we might not achieve big things over night but every small thing we do and each person we influence is one person more who knows about the great work Speech and Language Therapists do!
Look out for local events in your area over the summer and see if you can go along and Give Voice!

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