Giving Voice

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Lost Voice Guy Gives Voice!

Seven weeks ago I could not have anticipated how someone suggesting having a pub quiz would turn into such a successful awareness and fund raising night. I honestly don't think it could have gone any better - thank you so much to everyone who helped to make it happen!
It was a hard slog selling tickets in the first few weeks as sales were slow, and I did begin to wonder if planning such an event had not been the best idea I’ve had. However, not one for being negative for too long, and being determined to make it work I continued to tell everyone I knew about the event.  As ticket sales began to increase and people spread the word my nerves began to turn into excitement in anticipation of the evening. Following Lost Voice Guy’s appearance on BBC Look North the week before the event also led to an increase in sales and I was very excited that it was almost a sell out on the night!
We were able to access the function room at 6pm on Thursday and we turned up with boxes full of Giving Voice things! We had pink and black balloons as well as GV ones and that all important helium to inflate them!  I love balloons and was looking forward to seeing them all blown up so I was most disappointed when we tried to use our brand new bottle of helium only to discover it was empty!  My mam rushed off to Asda to get the helium changed and I was most relieved when she returned with a new (full) bottle in hand (having got it changed no problem!)


Setting up
We set up a production line of cutting ribbon, inflating the balloons with helium, tying knots and attaching them to the (pink and black) weights, ready to decorate the tables.
We then set up the tombola and raffle prizes, and decorated the tables with Giving Voice leaflets, balloons, quiz sheets and pens! Whilst all this was happening The Undefined Group were doing a brilliant job of setting up the PA system and lighting.
Once the room was ready we just needed to wait for the comedians and the audience to arrive ready for our night of entertainment to begin!

Raffle Prizes
Wayne Madden from yradio opened the night before introducing me to talk briefly about Giving Voice and the North East Trust for Aphasia.  I was delighted to welcome Councillor Lesley Rickerby (Executive Member for Children and Young People) and the Mayor of Ashington (John McCormack) to the event who arrived right on cue just as I mentioned him in my opening speech!
Emily Wood opened the show followed by Andy Arrowsmith, both warming up the audience with plenty of laughter before our headline act - Lost Voice Guy!
Lost Voice Guy was without a doubt – phenomenal. I have never seen so many adults crying with laughter all at once! The crowd laughed from his first joke, through to his last and lots of people stood for him at the end of his set. Everyone thought he was hilarious and lots of people told me at the end of the night that their jaws were still aching from laughing so much! (If you haven’t already seen Lost Voice Guy and you get the chance, you’d be a fool to miss out!)

Lost Voice Guy on stage
Following the comedy we had an interval, where I took the opportunity to introduce some other Speech and Language Therapists to Lesley Rickerby and John McCormack.  They were both extremely interested in learning more about Speech and Language Therapy and Giving Voice, and Lesley Rickerby would like to follow this up with a meeting in September!  

We kicked off the second half of the night by calling out some ticket numbers and rewarding these people with some prizes (of a chocolate variety!)
I then introduced Liz Panton, Speech and Language Therapist, who performed ‘Giving Voice’ on her Ukulele. This is a brilliant song that she has written herself, as part of the Giving Voice campaign,  to talk about the variety of work SLTs do.

Liz Panton, SLT
We then moved onto our pub quiz: two rounds of general knowledge and a round loosely based on communication. Wayne then took us through the answers to the four rounds (including the pictures that we’d put on the tables) before handing over to me to make the closing speech for the night. The Mayor drew the raffle then kindly made a speech about what he learned on Thursday evening about Speech and Language Therapy and said he’s looking forward to the next one (!)
I then closed the night with Thank You’s and an announcement of the funds raised. Ashington Football Club kindly donated £50 and the winning quiz team donated their £25 prize, making the total raised on the night, for NETA, a brilliant £390!!
I am still absolutely delighted with how well the night went and how much everyone seemed to enjoy it. Thanks to Chris and Andy (The Undefined Group) for doing the lights and sound, Wayne Madden for being MC and Quiz Master, Mo for being on the door, Liz for her brilliant Uke performance, Annabel, Maureen and Paul for setting up and making the night run smoothly, the wonderful audience for buying tickets, Emily Wood and Andrew Arrowsmith for their comedy and of course... Lost Voice Guy for being the star of the night!

Councillor Lesley Rickerby, John McCormack (Mayor) and me
If you'd like to help raise further funds for the North East Trust for Aphasia, my fantastic brother-in-law Craig is running the Great North Run for them in September - any support you can give is much appreciated!

Speech and Language Therapy Transforms Lives


  1. Julie - thanks most of all to you for making it all happen!
    Best wishes,

  2. All in all, the foil inflated helium balloons are considered the best and have gradually taken over
    the market of the regular rubber balloons and literally brought them on the verge of extinction.