Giving Voice

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Oranges and Jelly Babies

Last Sunday I went along to the Great North Run to support the thousands of runners by giving out Oranges and Jelly Babies.  My brother-in-law, Craig was running to support the North East Trust for Aphasia and completed the run in a brilliant 1hour53 minutes – it’s not too late to sponsor him if you want to help support the valuable work of NETA here.
My sister (Joanne), niece (Toni),  and I were all wearing the Giving Voice t-shirts I got printed last week. Three friends also came along to help and they were all wearing black and pink!
To say I was excited on Sunday morning, would be an understatement! There is something about the atmosphere and the sheer determination of the runners that makes being a spectator an exciting event. This coupled with the fact that we were handing out Jelly Babies and Oranges as the exhausted runners reached the 11 mile mark, made for a very exciting day!      
As you may remember, we’ve been buying Jelly Babies every week over the last couple of months to ensure that we had plenty to hand out on the day.
In total we had 50 bags and 6 boxes of Jelly Babies, 480 quarters/eighths of orange and one large tin of Cadbury’s heroes. We gave them all away to lots of grateful people! I was very excited to see that Jeff Hordley (Cain Dingle from Emmerdale) got some Jelly Babies from Si’s tin (who was completely unaware of the exciting situation, as he’s not particularly a fan of Emmerdale!) I also offered Tom Lister (Carl from Emmerdale) a Jelly Baby but he smiled and said “No Thank You”. Lots of people thanked us for our support, even if they didn’t want a jelly baby or piece of orange. It really amazes me how people have the energy to be so polite after running 11 miles, which is another reason I love the Great North Run so much.  All of the runners are heroes in my eyes!
On Friday my dad helped me construct a board that I could display Giving Voice posters on. Well, I say he helped me, it was more the other way around! I was his glamorous assistant while he did all the hard work. What a superstar! We displayed this board near where we were standing and I noticed lots of people reading it as they ran past. Two people also cheered for Speech and Language Therapy as they recognised the Giving Voice logo and message J
Some of the jelly babies

My friend and fellow SLT, Mo did a brilliant job of shouting ‘Oranges’ and ‘Jelly babies’ - so much so I think the people at 10 miles might have heard her! Hehe!
Joanne did an amazing job of cutting up all the oranges, only stopping to deal with a medical emergency. Unfortunately a young man collapsed near my sister – luckily she is a qualified nurse and one of the other people helping, a qualified doctor, so the young man got medical attention immediately, before the St John Ambulance people came and took him to get an ambulance to hospital.

Toni, Me, Joanne and Mo

My dad came along and took some photos on the day and Toni did a brilliant job of cheering on the runners with the Jelly Baby mascots I got from Cadbury last week. My mam cut up some of the oranges while Joanne was assisting the poorly gentleman.
My nephews Darius and Dom, did a super job of handing out the oranges and jelly babies with me and running along with the runners so that they didn’t need to stop.
With thanks to everyone who helped out (particularly Joanne for being chief orange cutter – which is no mean feat!) 
And to finish, here's a short video from the day...

Speech and Language Therapy Transforms Lives

Monday, 17 September 2012

RCSLT Conference 2012

Last week I attended the RCSLT conference at The Midland Hotel, Manchester which was an inspirational and educational 2 days. It was extremely well organised with lots of brilliant speakers. The theme of the conference was Driving Transformation through Evidence Based Practice and there was lots of practical advice that SLTs could take away and put into practice.
The Midland Hotel, Manchester

It was also great to talk lots of speech and language therapists working with all different client groups, each and everyone an inspiration.
The Annual General Meeting saw the inauguration of new council chair Bryony Simpson, as Hazel Roddam, previous chair’s term came to an end. I’ve never been to an AGM previously and was grateful of the opportunity to attend while at the conference this year.

The Robin Tavistock Award is presented annually to a person, or group, who it is felt, has made a significant contribution in the field of aphasia. This year the award was presented to Professor Pam Enderby on Wednesday 12th September. It was a pleasure to be there and listening to Professor Enderby’s achievements and contributions to the field of aphasia made me extremely proud to be part of such a diverse and valuable profession. A standing ovation filled the room as Pam made her way on stage to collect the award. Read more about why Pam Enderby won the award this year. Professor Pam Enderby truly deserved to be this year’s winner.
At the end of the second day Derek Munn, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, gave an inspirational and informative Giving Voice update, ensuring that everyone knows the campaign is still ongoing and reminding people of the deadline for this year’s Giving Voice Awards (last Thursday 13th September). He encouraged that we continue to engage in the campaign to highlight the value of the profession. He pointed out that society adapts well for people who are blind, deaf or cannot walk, yet the same level of adaptations are not made for those who have difficulties with communication. I think this is a very valid point and highlights the need for us to continue to campaign on behalf of those who struggle to make their voices heard!
I had a brilliant day supporting the runners at the Great North Run yesterday and will be blogging about this over the next few days. Thank you for reading my blog, I am delighted I have almost reached 9000 page views!

Speech and Language Therapy Transforms Lives

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Tweets Galore and Jelly Mascots

I am delighted that so many people have retweeted my GNR blog entry! I’ve had more than 35 retweets of this entry and my page views have gone up a lot over the last week.
Retweets include:
TV: Nicola Wheeler (Nicola from Emmerdale – more than 18,000 followers)
Comedians – Lost Voice Guy, Emily Wood, Andrew Arrowsmith, Simon Donald, and Ian Gordon.
Radio: Koast radio and Simon Conway from metro (who said I might be on their news this week!)
I haven't listed everyone but thank you so much to each and every one of you who has taken the time to retweet and/or read my blog. It is very much appreciated.
I’m pleased that lots of people have said they will be looking out for me at the 11 mile mark and I’ve also managed to recruit some extra helpers on the day. I’m also very excited that I have Giving Voice t-shirts for us to wear. I ordered them from a local printing shop and picked them up last Friday! Only 3 days to go until the run!
You may remember that I wrote to Cadbury asking if they could support us at the Great North Run by donating some Jelly Babies or a mascot etc. I received a letter on Friday saying that they are unable to provide any sweets as they support lots of causes - but they did send two delightful cuddly Jelly Babies!  Thank you Cadbury – how cute are they! I love their little boots too – looks like they are ready to run!

Don’t forget to watch out for us on Sunday whether you are running or watching on TV (hopefully we’ll make an appearance in the background as the elite runners pass us!)
I was hoping to publish this post earlier in the week but the #RCSLTconference2012 in Manchester has kept me busy over the last few days.  I’ll blog more about that soon as it was a brilliant 2 days!!
Speech and Language Therapy Transforms Lives