Giving Voice is a national campaign led by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists which aims to demonstrate how speech and language therapy makes a difference to people with speech, language and communication needs, their families, and wider society.
I'll be updating this blog regularly so please keep checking back and share it too :) click the Giving Voice logo to go direct to the official website!
This afternoon I went to see my niece perform in a short production of Grease at a Young Carer’s event in South Shields. Before the production began, brilliant comedian Simon Donald (Him off the Viz) was entertaining the audience. He was absolutely fantastic and had the audience roaring with laughter. I saw him at Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle a few weeks ago when I went to see Patrick Monahan and Lost Voice Guy and thought he was fantastic then. I didn’t know he was going to be at today’s event so it was a very pleasant surprise. It was lovely seeing a different style of comedy from him which had adults and children equally amused!
Simon entertaining the audience!
The production of Grease was great and my niece made a lovely Pink Lady! After the performance my niece and I got our photo taken with Simon Donald. I told him that I am a Newly Qualified Speech and Language Therapist campaigning with Giving Voice and I gave him a leaflet and a pen (always be prepared!). He seemed genuinely pleased that I’d given him a gift and then I asked him to sign a Giving Voice leaflet, with which he happily agreed.
Me, Simon Donald and Toni
A very exciting afternoon all round! If you want to check out his website it’s www.simondonald.com.
On Tuesday I went along to The Mansion House in Newcastle for afternoon tea to celebrate the North East Trust for Aphasia’s 10th Anniversary. It was a great afternoon and I met some lovely people.I was wearing my Giving Voice badge and was able to have a few Giving Voice related conversations with the people sat at the same table as me.
For those of you who don’t know, the North East Trust for Aphasia (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.
Tuesday afternoon was lovely, it was great to meet lots of people who benefit directly from NETA as well as listening to the inspiring speeches from, Janet Speight (chair of NETA), Professor David Howard and the Lord Mayor of Newcastle.
In Janet’s speech she mentioned how happy everyone always is when attending NETA. She said that you might expect the people there to be sad but everyone is always happy. I was really inspired by the sheer determination of the individuals who have aphasia and how they don’t let this stop them communicating to the best of their ability.
It was also lovely to hear so many people talk about how much NETA, and Speech and Language Therapy has helped them and their families since their stroke.
NETA is a brilliant charity and I was delighted I could be part of the 10 year celebration. Keep up the great work NETA and here’s to the next 10 years! Why not go and check out NETA’s lovely new website?! http://www.neta.org.uk
I was delighted to see that Ian Lavery, MP retweeted my blog and this also led to some other people retweeting it too.I’m happy to see that my blog is steadily making its ways towards 6000 page views! It means a lot that people are interested in reading it.
Last Monday I went to see Patrick Monahan (Winner of ITV1's 'Show Me The Funny') and Lost Voice Guy at Hoochie Coochie in Newcastle. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to speak to both of them on the night. It was nice to catch up with Lost Voice Guy and I even got a photo with him! It was good to hear about all the gigs he’s been doing and how surreal he is still finding it all. He had some new material on the night and the audience loved him!
Me with Lost Voice Guy!
There were some other great comedians on the night too: Simon Donald (from The Viz), Abi Roberts and Ben Messenger.
It was also great to meet Patrick Monahan and I took the opportunity to thank him for retweeting my blog. He said it was his pleasure and I got a hug (sadly I wasn’t quick enough for a photo opportunity!) I gave him a Giving Voice pen with which he seemed delighted! It appears that Everybody Loves Pens! Patrick’s stand up was really good and I tweeted him to tell him this. I was delighted that he replied to my tweet and I look forward to seeing him again in the future.
This weekend was the 145th Northumberland's Miner’s Picnic, with events being held at various places over the last few days. On Friday I went along to a lecture evening at Ashington Football club as Ian Lavery, MP for Wansbeck was one of the guest speakers present. I went along wearing my Giving Voice badge to spread the word a little bit further.
There were four speakers in total, 3 of which are current MPs (Ian Mearns, Gateshead, Graham Morris, Easington and Wansbeck's Ian Lavery) and former Wansbeck, MP Denis Murphy. All the speakers were passionate and proud to represent their individual constituencies. They talked about a number of issues including the NHS and the Health and Social Care Bill.
After the speeches, I spoke to Ian Lavery to remind him of the Giving Voice campaign and to give him a new Giving Voice pen. He was delighted with this as he informed me that his previous one had run out of ink! Graham Morris also received a Giving Voice pen and he seemed equally enthused. I took the opportunity to get another photo with Ian Lavery and to explain that Giving Voice is continuing throughout this year. He once again expressed his support for the profession and says he will do whatever he can to support the campaign this year.
He has recently joined Twitter and I took the opportunity to ask him if he would tweet about Giving Voice, with which he happily agreed. It was a pleasure to meet him again and I am pleased he likes his pen!
On Saturday I went along to the Miner's picnic event at Woodhorn Colliery Museum, where my friend and I were both wearing a Giving Voice badge.
If your local MP is going to be talking at a local event, why not go along and mention Giving Voice.