Giving Voice

Thursday, 18 October 2012

One year on...

Tuesday 18th October 2011 was one of the most exciting days of my life! I can hardly believe that it has been a whole year since the Mass Mobilisation event in Westminster, where I joined over 200 other Speech and Language Therapists to discuss speech and Language therapy with our MPs.
I have just emailed my MP, Ian Lavery, to thank him once again for meeting with me last year and also to send an update about Giving Voice. RCSLT are inviting everyone to contact their MPs this week to help mark the one year anniversary.  Whether you were able to be in Westminster last year or not, you can help mark this occasion by emailing your MP about Speech and Language Therapy.
RCSLT has prepared a short briefing to remind your MP of the campaign’s key messages, which you can get by contacting Claire Moser at RCSLT - Email:
Let’s see how many MPs we can contact between us and get them all talking about Speech and Language Therapy again! J Sending the email only takes a few minutes and could really make a difference to the campaign!
Houses of Parliament, 18th October 2011

Let’s remind our MPs that Speech and Language Therapy Transforms Lives.

“If you think you are too small to have an impact – try sleeping with a mosquito in the room!” Dame Anita Roddick

Monday, 15 October 2012


On Saturday evening I went along to Aphasiafest at The Cluny 2, Newcastle  to raise awareness of Giving Voice. Aphasiafest was a night’s entertainment to raise money for the North East Trust for Aphasia (NETA).

NETA is an independent registered charity which is self funded. Aphasia often arises after stroke or other brain trauma and it means difficulties with communication (speaking, understanding, reading, writing). Aphasia has a sudden and profound effect on the person, their family and friends. It impacts on the individual’s confidence, personal relationships, employment and social life. NETA supports people who have Aphasia in the North East, and their families as well as raising awareness of Aphasia. To find out more visit
We set off in plenty time as I’ve never been to the venue before and I am known for my poor sense of direction! I had the satnav and found the venue with no problems (well, ok! That was a tiny white lie – we arrived, on time, with just a couple of wrong turns!)
Upon arrival we were greeted by a number of friendly faces and I was told where I could put the pop up banner. We displayed it near the doorway so that people could see it on arrival. I handed out leaflets and pens and left some on each of the tables for people to read and take away. I also left some leaflets with the lady selling raffle tickets, for people to pick up as they came in.
I love talking about Giving Voice and Speech and Language Therapy and welcome opportunities to do this to audiences. I was quite excited for my little speech on Saturday night and the nerves didn’t really kick in until I got up on stage. I could feel the butterflies in my stomach, but I was determined to have them fly in formation! It doesn’t matter how many times I get up to talk in front of an audience, I still get nervous before I start to talk. I always practise what I am going to say, several times, before I give a talk, to ensure I am well prepared. However, the addition of an audience changes the whole situation and I am suddenly aware of how I am communicating. People tell me that I talk really fast, so I am always aware of this when talking in front of an audience, to ensure that I deliver the talk effectively. Making a speech, however short, always reminds me that I take my own communication skills for granted every day, and that for people with communication difficulties, day-to-day situations might feel this stressful on a regular basis.

I spoke for a couple of minutes about Giving Voice and Speech and Language Therapy, as well as some key facts about Aphasia and NETA. The audience were lovely and I think the little speech went down quite well :-)
I encouraged people to take the leaflets away with them and to pass them on to someone else to spread the message that little bit further.
There was a variety of great entertainers on the night, as well as a raffle, to raise vital funds for the valuable work of NETA. I had an enjoyable evening on Saturday and hope everyone else did too, whilst raising awareness  and valuable funds for a brilliant cause!
Speech and Language Therapy Transforms Lives

~ Thanks to everyone who reads my blog, I'm delighted it has exceeded 10,000 views! ~

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

It's Twitter time!

Welcome to my 60th post...I’m excited to see that my blog is rapidly approaching 10,000 page views! At the beginning of the year this was just over 2000 page views, so to be almost at 10,000 views is incredible! Thank you to everyone who reads it.
When I’m on twitter I often have a little look to see which celebrities are online, to tweet them my blog. Last week I tweeted it to Chico and Gary Barlow with the hope that one, or both of them might retweet it to their followers. I was very excited to find that Chico did just that (he has more than 30,000 followers!)  and he now follows me too! :-)

Retweet of my blog by Chico
#pma = positive mental attitude

Gary Barlow did not retweet my blog, but he did retweet Becky Beaumont’s. Becky is a 22 year old stroke survivor who blogs about her experiences. It is truly inspirational, and just goes to show that stroke can affect anyone at anytime in their life. Gary Barlow has more than 2 million (!) followers and it’s brilliant that he retweeted Becky’s blog to so many people! Check out Becky’s inspirational blog here -
Becky did not need a Speech and Language Therapist for her swallowing or communication needs following her stroke, however many people who have a stroke do need the specialist support of an SLT.  As you may know, the North East Trust for Aphasia offer long term support for people who have communication difficulties following a stroke (or other brain injury). Last week I got an email from NETA asking if I’d like to go along to promote Giving Voice at an event they are hosting this Saturday in Newcastle. Always welcoming of Giving Voice opportunities, I have agreed to go along with some leaflets, and to make a short speech at some point during the night :-) Event details can be found here. I’ll update my blog following the event!