Giving Voice

Friday, 16 October 2015

Extremely Exciting!

Today started off as any other work day… I snoozed my alarm as many times as I could before finally getting out of bed and making my must have cup of tea!  I then somehow managed to spill half a bottle of milk all over the carpet. I was so annoyed but my grandma always used to say ‘there’s no point crying over spilt milk’ (this time literally!) so I cleaned it up, didn’t cry and got on with my day. I may not have started the day quite as successfully as I would have liked but I was determined not to let it make a bad day for me.
I had a good (and busy!) day at work – my spilt milk a distant memory! After work I headed to meet Richard Burgon, MP for Leeds East to follow up the letter I sent him on behalf of school a couple of weeks ago.
I arrived at Corpus Christi Club at 5pm with a copy of the letter, Giving Voice pens and a leaflet. There were a few people there waiting already so I sat down and waited. I began to feel a little nervous while I was waiting but I was excited too!
When Mr Burgon arrived he greeted us all and the first thing he noticed was my Giving Voice badge! (asking what it was). I always like to wear my Giving Voice badge as people often ask me about it which gives me opportunity to tell them about Speech and Language Therapy.
I waited about an hour before it was my turn to go in but the meeting was worth the wait! I explained that I had written to him a couple of weeks ago about being a judge for Voice Box at the school I work in as part of my NHS role. I explained that I wanted to meet him in person to explain what the competition is about. I told him about the national competition and the grand final being held at Westminster. I also invited him to be a judge at our school Voice Box and also the Leeds final competition that we are also hosting.

Mr Burgon was interested in the competition and also my role as a Speech and Language Therapist. I told him about Giving Voice and how I have been involved since the beginning of the campaign, including my involvement with my MP back home. He correctly guessed that home was the North East (I’ve no idea what gave it away… ;) ) He then tried to guess the MP (and after I narrowed it down to Northumberland he quickly guessed correct with Ian Lavery.)  He told me he is good friends with Ian Lavery and has known him for a long time (Since before they were both MPs) – small world!
I gave Mr Burgon a Giving Voice pen (he was very pleased with this…everyone loves a pen!) and left him with a copy of the letter and a Giving Voice leaflet. I was delighted that he has agreed to attend both of our Voice Box competitions and I look forward to meeting him again next month.
Planning for Voice Box is going really well - I had my first lunch time joke club yesterday with 11 children from year 4 and year 6. Tilly and Tom helped us and enjoyed thinking of jokes too (you can find them here on Facebook and here on Twitter). The children really enjoyed it – we spent time thinking of and looking for jokes. Each child chose their favourite one and shared it with us at the end of the club. We are also doing joke workshops on our No Pens Day next week to continue to inspire the children!

I tweeted Mr Burgon (and Mr Lavery) when I got home and I look forward to welcoming him to our school in November. I was excited to see that Mr Burgon tweeted about meeting me this evening!
We also have other exciting guests at our school competition and I am really excited about how well it is all coming together. The staff in school are really embracing it and the children keep stopping me in the corridor to tell me jokes. I love how much it is getting everyone talking and thinking of jokes.  

I love my job and the lovely children I work with. Speech and Language Therapy Transforms Lives <3
To find out more about Voice Box and to get involved visit the Giving Voice website. Also why not invite your own local MP to the competition. I am so glad I decided to go along and meet our local MP this evening – a brilliant ending to a day that started off a little sour!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Tilly and Tom

Just a quick update tonight...I'm so busy and time is flying by! Planning for Voice Box is well underway and the children have already started thinking of jokes. I’m also planning some activities for our No Pens Day later this month. It was National No Pens Day Wednesday yesterday but we have decided to do it on the last day of this half term. It’s all very exciting and I can’t wait to write more but for now I am going to tell you about my latest project.
Last weekend when I went home to Northumberland these two beautiful children were there to greet me.
They moved to Leeds with me on Sunday and have already settled in nicely.
They started school on Tuesday and already they feel like family! The children in school absolutely love them (as do the adults!). Tilly even got her very own school uniform yesterday and quickly gave up her dummy (as she’s much too old for one now!)
Gosh...don't they grow up quickly!
I have set up a Facebook page to share their story and to use it as a way of raising awareness of Speech and Language Therapy in a fun way. I am hoping they might even have some jokes of their own for Voice Box ;)
Find Tilly and Tom on Facebook and Twitter and follow their story. Please do interact with them - I just know that they will love to hear from you! J