Giving Voice

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

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