I am an Independent Speech and Language Therapist based in Bridgend, South Wales. I provide speech and language support for children and adolescents in nurseries, schools and homes. I love my job and I find myself feeling very proud to be working as an SLT.
I responded to an advert from the ASLTIP group asking for someone to represent ASLTIP in a more formal way by joining a Giving Voice working group. I was interested in becoming a Giving Voice Representative because I felt that it is vital to highlight the amazing work of speech and language therapists. I feel that we need society to truly understand the impact a speech and language difficulty can have on an individual and that we show them exactly what we can do to change a person’s life.
I attended an intense 24 hours of campaign planning in the Royal Foundation of St Katherine’s in London in February. At this event 12 SLT’s from around the country worked together to plan how we can move forward with the Giving Voice campaign. We came from a range of SLT backgrounds from experienced SLT’s working in acute, community and independent practice to newly qualified practitioners still on the hunt for their first job. We worked hard to identify the needs, challenges and future plans for the campaign and I am excited to tell you that there are lots of plans to be revealed over the next few months. We are now branded the Giving Voice Innovation Group and catch up every twelve weeks via a conference call to update on plans and events.
Get Involved! This year there will be three competitions giving all members a chance to shine. Some of you may have taken part in the “Vote for Speech and Language Therapy” campaign where we asked you to come up with an effective manifesto ask which we hope politicians will listen to and adopt in the lead up to the 2015 General Election. Giving Voice has now launched “The Giving Voice photography competition: Lights, camera, campaign!” Members of RCSLT are now being asked to enter photographs of their Giving Voice events – and the twelve best images will be included in a 2014 calendar. This calendar will be the perfect gift for politicians and other key stakeholders who need to see the campaign in action and be reminded every day of the year that SLT transforms lives. Finally, later on this year the RCSLT is working with The Communications Trust to run a very exciting children’s Voice Box event which has been extremely successful in Northern Ireland.
On a personal level I am now working with our local group to plan a Giving Voice event in the autumn. We are hoping to involve Independent SLT’s, students and service users to promote the Giving Voice campaign and the work of SLT’s. I would love to hear from other ASLTIP members who would like to create a Giving Voice event and I am more than willing to help.
I would also like to plan an event for ASLTIP members to promote Giving Voice how about an ASLTIP Giving Voice Day! I suggest that each ASLTIP member contributes on that day with a mini Giving Voice campaign to highlight our profession and the impact we have on the person and society either by sending an email to a local MP, taking a photo for the competition or handing out a seven signs booklet to their local GP. However small I think this could have a big impact. What do you think? I will be in touch……… and please contact me with any suggestions or queries, I know how creative us SLT’s can be!!
Nia Jones, ASLTIP member
The views expressed in the blog do not necessarily represent the views of ASLTIP. Publication does not imply endorsement.
ASLTIP’s membership has been growing rapidly since 1989. We are a support organisation run by our members. The executive board is always grateful for new members and new ideas.Apply for a membership