Giving Voice

Sunday, 22 January 2012

An Inspiration - Johnson Beharry VC

Johnson Beharry VC

Just a quick note but I feel the need to share with you that I tweeted Johnson Beharry VC and he replied! I watched him in Dancing on Ice 2011 (and shook hands with him at the end of the live show in Newcastle last year) and think he is truly inspirational. At the time I thought about writing to him and telling him about Giving Voice (and to ask if he had speech and language therapy following his heroic war injuries) but I couldn’t find an address to send the letter to. I did buy his book though (Barefoot Soldier) in order to learn more about him and his experiences.

I decided to tweet him this evening to ask if he had speech and language therapy and I shared the link to the Giving Voice website. He replied to say that he did. Unfortunately he did not mention GV in his reply but it made my night to get a tweet from him all the same! I might tweet him again at some point to ask him for his support with Giving Voice (I don’t want to pester him though!)

Below: two photos I took when I went to see Dancing on Ice Live 2011 at Newcastle Metro Radio Arena.

Johnson Beharry

Johnson receiving his scores :-)

Keep tweeting and spreading the word that Speech and Language Therapy Transforms Lives. (#GivingVoiceUK)

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Spreading the word one person at a time...

“Speech and Language Therapy?? That’s a strange thing to study at uni….I guess there isn’t much need for it or many places to look for work…”

This was part of a conversation I had whilst at work this morning. I won’t say who said it as I honestly don’t think he meant any harm by it, he just obviously, like many other people, doesn’t understand the value of Speech and Language Therapy.

It made me feel a little disappointed and frustrated that the profession is still so misunderstood, however I’ve encountered this enough times now not to be surprised. I’m sure he wouldn’t think it was a strange thing to study if he knew someone who needed the specialist support of a Speech and Language Therapist.

He asked what made me choose Speech and Language Therapy so I took the opportunity to tell him a bit about the profession and how I want to help people communicate as everyone has the right to a voice.

It has actually led to more than one conversation, today, about the profession and my search for a job. He commented that he thought it was a 'bizarre' thing to study but after I explained about the variety of work we do and how fascinating I found the course, he agreed that it does sound quite interesting. I found myself quoting some key facts (such as ‘Speech and Language Therapy saves £765 million per year’, ‘one in three stroke survivors have speech, language or communication needs’) and he found these quite interesting, so it's worth memorising a few of these in case someone asks more about the profession :-). He seemed surprised there was such a need for speech and language therapy and was even more interested once I started with the key facts! Spreading the word one person at a time!

It was lovely to see so many people involved the Mass Tweet (#GivingVoiceUK) on Tuesday from 8pm. I think this was a great idea (thank you to Helen - Facebook admin of Support Giving Voice Campaign – Stop Speech and Language Therapy Cuts). Hopefully it helped to spread the word a little further.  I don’t know if we got #GivingVoiceUK trending but lots of people got involved – it’s not too late to start tweeting if you don’t already! I didn’t think I’d ever be able to understand Twitter and only properly started using it last year, despite having had an account for almost 3 years. I have actually surprised myself and found it’s not as complicated as I first though and I also quite enjoy it now! (so don’t use ‘it’s too complicated’ as an excuse until you’ve given it a proper chance! :-)

I came across the following picture through facebook and twitter and thought I’d share it here. Thanks to Claire Johnston for creating and sharing it! :-)