Giving Voice

Friday, 18 October 2013

Two years on...

Tuesday 18th October 2011 was one of the best days of my life. Two years ago today, along with 200 other Speech and Language Therapists, I was in London for MassMobilisation. We went to the Houses of Parliament to meet our MPs and talk about the importance of speech and language therapy.

Two years on and Giving Voice is still going! The importance of speech and language therapy is still very high on the agenda.  Communication is something we take for granted every day, which is why we need to keep raising awareness for those that need the support of SLTs. Everyone has the right to communicate, to express their wants, needs and feelings. Speech and language therapists enable this to happen for individuals which need support. But we don't stop there! We also help people with swallowing and feeding difficulties. The pleasure of eating and drinking is something else taken for granted when we can do it with ease. Speech and language therapists really do transform lives!

I'm going to tweet my MP today to thank him for his continued support and remind him of our meeting two years ago.

I started this blog as a way of sharing Giving Voice ideas and hopefully inspire others to get involved, as well as raising awareness of Speech and Language Therapy. I didn't know if anyone would read it, but I continue to write it just in case. I'm a big believer in spreading the message one person at a time :) this time last year I had just reached 10,000 page views and it is now at just over 21,000! I'm delighted that people are continuing to read and share it!

Please keep spreading the word that speech and language therapy transforms lives. One day someone you love might need our support.

On a slightly different note I am delighted to be starting a new job on Tuesday! My first clinical post with the NHS :) I've really enjoyed my work in research and as a therapy assistant but am very excited to be starting my new temporary post! :)

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

RCSLT Hub Summit, Honours and Giving Voice Awards!

On Thursday I attended the RCSLT Hub Summit in Birmingham. I travelled down by train on Wednesday afternoon and checked into the Holiday Inn, where the event was held. After settling into my room I went to the hotel bar to have some food before a quiet night watching TV looking forward to the day ahead!
My room for the night!
After breakfast I checked out of my room and then headed to register at the event. I saw a couple of Giving Voice Innovation Group members and enjoyed catching up with them before the event started.
The day started with the AGM, led by chair of RCSLT Bryony Simpson. There were a number of presentations throughout the day as well as group discussions to talk about outcomes and regional hubs. It was a pleasure talking to so many enthusiastic speech and language therapists and really interesting listening to all the speakers. (Presentations will be online in the next two weeks with author’s permission).

I visited the Giving Voice stand and looked at the photos that were short listed for the Giving Voice calendar. Looking forward to seeing which ones won when RCSLT announce it next month :)
Giving Voice stand
At the end of the day was the RCSLT Honours Ceremony with the Giving Voice Awards 2013. This was a truly inspirational hour, making me feel proud to be a speech and language therapist. I was delighted to hear that Dr Helen Stringer was awarded an RCSLT Honours. She is a lecturer at Newcastle University (where I studied) and is inspirational! Well done to everyone who was awarded RCSLT Honours 2013, they were all truly deserving recipients!

Dr Helen Stringer receiving her Honours

There were four Giving Voice awards presented after the honours awards. These were all for SLTs (and students) who have had Innovative ideas in contributing to the campaign. I enjoyed talking to the award winners and hearing about their campaigning. One of the winners is now living in the North East and we are hoping we might be able to ‘Give Voice’ together in the near future!
Some of the award recipients!

After the awards, members of the Giving Voice Innovation group met for an informal meeting. It was nice to catch up with everyone and to discuss future plans  :) I am looking forward to travelling to London next month for some additional training and also for our next meeting.

Some of the Giving Voice Innovation Group

I really enjoyed my time in Birmingham and I am looking forward to attending the inaugural Hub meeting in the North East on Monday.

Speech and Language Therapy Transforms Lives