Giving Voice

Thursday, 31 July 2014

A time to reflect

It's three years this month since I started this Giving Voice blog to raise awareness of the profession.  I have really enjoyed my time being involved in Giving Voice and I love my role in the Giving Voice Innovation Group.

I've met lots of lovely people throughout my campaigning and I look forward to meeting and engaging even more in the future.

As Giving Voice enters it's 4th year, RCSLT are looking for people to share their opinions about the campaign - what's gone well and where it is going.

The survey is here and is really easy to fill out. It would be great if you could spare just a few minutes of your time to fill it in. Whether you have been involved in a one off Giving Voice event, been actively involved, or just haven't quite found the time to get involved yet, all opinions are greatly valued! Survey closes on Monday 4th August 2014.

Speech and Language Therapy Transforms Lives

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Fun for all!

I can’t believe that I’ve almost let a month go past without updating this blog! I’ve been quite busy training for the Great North Run (check out my progress here)!  June is not quite over yet though so just time for a quick update!

The entertainment evening I organised at Ashington Football Club on Saturday 7th June was a huge success! It aimed to raise money for the North East Trust for Aphasia and to raise awareness of Giving Voice and The International Communication Project 2014. Weeks of planning and preparation were all worthwhile as it was a brilliant night!

Steffen Peddie (from BBC sitcom Hebburn) did a brilliant job of hosting the night which starred hilarious Comedian Lost Voice Guy. Steffen ensured the night ran smoothly and kept the audience entertained from start to finish.

Early in the night I spoke about Giving Voice and ICP 2014. Following my brief speech I introduced Janet Speight, Chair of NETA who spoke about the charity and what it is like to live with Aphasia.

Liz Panton, then performed her Giving Voice song on the Ukulele and encouraged audience participation. She also told of her own recent experiences of having mild Aphasia.

We had a successful auction, brilliantly led by Steffen, two entertaining games of ‘Head ands Tail’ and a race to the raffle prizes! We also had live music from Charlotte and Jordan, who were absolutely brilliant!

The whole evening was a huge success and everyone enjoyed it. We raised more than £750. A great night was enjoyed by everyone! The Thursday after the event I went to NETA and presented them with a cheque for £1000 (the money from the event plus some other fundraising my family have been doing).

Thank you to everyone who attended and helped out on the night. Thanks also to the Undefined Group for doing an excellent job of the lighting and sound!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Comedy and Laughter

Time is flying by again! Two weeks today until the fundraising and awareness raising night that I am hosting at Ashington Football Club. Ticket sales are on the increase but there’s still availability for anyone who would like to come!

Yesterday I went to a comedy night at the football club and Steffen Peddie and Jason Cook from BBC 2 Sitcom Hebburn were the stars of the show! Steffen Peddie was a great host and I have now booked him to be the compere at our Lost Voice Guy event!
Rachael, Jason Cook, Me (with Giving Voice badge!) and Steffen Peddie, last night
The night is sure to be great, with comedy, music and laughter all whilst raising money for the North East Trust for Aphasia and raising awareness of Giving Voice and the International Communication Project 2014.

If you would like further information about the event or would like to purchase tickets visit

I am so excited to have Lost Voice Guy headline the night. If you haven’t seen him live before, this is an opportunity not to be missed! Lost Voice Guy, aka Lee Ridley is not only a talented comedian but a writer as well. He recently wrote this blog post as part of the #endtheawkward campaign for BBC. It’s worth a read if you haven’t already seen it J

Looking forward to updating you on the success of the Entertainment night in a couple of weeks. Hopefully see you there! (advance ticket purchase only)

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Exciting Events!

My new job is keeping me busy so it’s taken me longer than anticipated to update my blog! It’s been an exciting and busy few weeks, at the end of March I went to see The Magenta Singers perform at Newcastle University with Voice of the Town.
The Magenta Singers are a choir in association with the North East Trust for Aphasia (NETA) and the Sage, Gateshead. This was an enjoyable night and the choir were very inspirational. The members of NETA all have Aphasia, which can affect all aspects of communication (talking, listening, reading and writing). The Magenta Singers, may find communication difficult, but they sing with passion and enthusiasm!

On my way into the event I left some Giving Voice leaflets on the table, and was excited to see that there was only one left on my way out!
You may know that I am training for the Great North Run to raise money for NETA! Whenever I have a difficult run (which can be quite often!) and question why I ever even decided to start running, I think about the inspirational members of NETA and the choir; and it all becomes worthwhile! If you would like to follow my journey to the Great North Run you can find my running blog here ( If you would like to contribute to my fundraising and help support the valuable work of NETA my Just Giving page can be found here (
I am excited to announce that I am arranging another fundraising night starring Lost Voice Guy on Saturday 7th June at Ashington Football Club. It’s been almost two years since he made us all laugh in Ashington and he is back by popular demand! The night is sure to be fun, and as well as raising funds for NETA, I will also be raising awareness of Speech and Language Therapy, Giving Voice and the Intenational Communication Project 2014. I have invited local MP, Ian Lavery, and hope that he is able to attend.

If you would like further information about the event I have a facebook group which can be found here . Tickets can be bought through me (contact me direct) or through the box office (booking fee applies)


Friday, 28 March 2014

Champ Camp 2014

It’s been a while since I updated this! I just don’t know where the time goes sometimes! Earlier this month I attended the Giving Voice Innovation Group (GIG) residential event in London. This was the second of these events and was inspirational talking to lots of enthusiastic Speech and Language Therapists.

One of the activities at this event was to write a postcard to ourselves with 3 things we plan to do. This was then posted back to us a few weeks later to remind us of the pledges we made to ourselves and the campaign. Mine arrived in the post last week and one of the promises I made to myself was to update this blog at least once a month. As it’s almost the end of March, I decided I had better get a wiggle on to write an update.

I started a new job on Monday and this is going to involve a lot of travelling but hopefully I will find time to blog at least once a month. I’ve just started planning an event for June (watch this space)!

The Giving Voice residential, affectionately named #champcamp, was a good opportunity to get together and discuss Giving Voice ideas. This year is also the International Communication Project 2014 so this is another great reason to get involved and celebrate communication and speech and language therapy. If you haven’t already signed the pledge, why not take a look now, and show your support (Communication is a basic human right). You can find the pledge on 

We arrived in London on the Friday night and received a Giving Voice update after dinner. The Saturday was then filled with lots of activities including a role play talking to a chief executive of the NHS. This was a good opportunity to put our skills into practice.

Here’s a picture of us (unfortunately, not all the GIG members were able to attend L). Please feel free to get in touch with any of us – our details can be found on the Giving Voice Innovation Group page of the RCSLT website.
I promise I won’t leave it so long until I write again (if I do feel free to give me a nudge!) Wishing you all a happy weekend! Tonight I am off to see The Magenta Singers perform in Newcastle. This is a choir of talented singers who also have Aphasia. I've seen them sing before, and boy can they sing! It is sure to be an inspirational and enjoyable evening. Tickets are available on the door so if you've no plans for tonight why not get yourself there! More information can be found at this facebook event

Speech and Language Therapy Transforms Lives!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

In the media!

As you may know I met with Ian Lavery MP a couple of weeks ago to present him with a Giving Voice calendar as a thank you for his support of the campaign. Following this meeting I emailed the News Post Leader to inform them of the story.

I used the knowledge I gained at the media training in London in November to ensure I covered all the important points of the story and ensure the person reading my email wanted to run the story. I was delighted that they uploaded it online on Monday and printed it in this weeks edition of the Newspaper!

I'm always excited to see Giving Voice in print! Spreading the word one person at a time :-)

To read the story online click here.

If you haven't already got a calander it's not too late! They are half price now and available from the Giving Voice website.  Why not buy one and pass it on to your local MP, councillor or commissioner to remind (or inform) them that Speech and Language Therapy Transforms Lives!

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Lights, Camera, Campaign!

Welcome to my 90th post! When I first started blogging about Giving Voice back in 2011 I didn't know how it would go so I am delighted that I have reached 90 posts and exceeded 21,000 page views! This will be my last post of the year but I hope to reflect on 2013 soon!

You may have heard that RCSLT held a Giving Voice photography competition earlier in the year. The competition was judged by the Countess of Wessex and Arthur Edwards (Royal Photographer for The Sun). RCSLT received 100's of entries and the winning selection have been turned into a 2014 Giving Voice calendar.

I entered 4 photos into this competition and was delighted to hear that 2 of them won! Both of my winning photos were taken in North East England - one was at the Communication Chain on Gateshead Millennium Bridge (to find out more about this event see here) and the other is of me holding a speech bubble next to the Miner Statue where Ellington Colliery once stood.

All of the photos in the calendar are fantastic! I'm looking forward to using mine throughout the year. I wrote to my MP, Ian Lavery to tell him about my photos being selected and asking for a photo opportunity to give him his own copy. I was delighted to get an appointment to visit Mr Lavery in his constituency office on Friday 20th December to present him with a calendar as a thank you for his previous support of Giving Voice.

Mr Lavery was delighted with his calendar, particularly the photo at Ellington, and says he will take it  to use in his office in Westminster! I took the opportunity to remind him of Giving Voice and the value of speech and language therapy. He is hugely supportive of the profession and thinks we do a fantastic job!

I emailed the News Post Leader to tell them about the calendar and my meeting with Mr Lavery and I attached the photo (below). I used my newly acquired knowledge from the media training when thinking about what I wanted to say in my email. I will look out for it in this weeks newspaper.
Me presenting Ian LAVERY, MP with the Giving Voice calendar 

I have also posted a calendar to Councillor Lesley Rickerby (Health and Well Being Board) with a letter reminding her of Giving Voice. (She attended the entertainment evening I held last year).

On my last day at work before Christmas I was talking to a colleague about the meeting I had with my MP and I encouraged her to email her own MP (which she did). She also ordered a calendar to give to him if he agrees to meet up to learn about Giving Voice. She has told me she'll let me know when she hears back!

Why not order a Giving Voice calendar of your own (here) and perhaps give it to your MP or councillor to continue spreading the message that Speech and Language Therapy Transforms lives!

Wishing you all the very best for the New Year!