Local Co-ordinator Newsletter
April 2012

TCT 2012
Saying a fond farewell

After five years, Anita Kerwin-Nye (Director of The Communication Trust), has announced she is stepping down to pursue new challenges at the end of April. Anita’s leadership and enthusiasm will be greatly missed and we thank her for her commitment and dedication.

Anita Kerwin-NyeTo read Anita’s farewell message please see below:
“To say I am remarkably proud of The Communication Trust and all those involved in our work is an understatement. As a collective of 48 voluntary organisations, The Communication Trust benefits from the wealth of expertise and innovative approaches that make a real difference to children, young people and their families. We have collectively gone on an incredible journey that has culminated in the Hello campaign (national year of communication). As a local co-ordinator, your work was a major part of this and gave a huge boost to our efforts.

“When I first came to the speech and language sector, parents were battling a system where their child’s speech, language and communication needs were regularly being misunderstood, misinterpreted and in the worst cases, just missed altogether.  We still have a long way to go but things are improving and it is thanks to the work and support of people like you.

“As we put the finishing touches to The Communication Trust’s Impact Report outlining the difference we have made in five years, it feels the right time to move on. A strong strategy has been put in place for the next five years and this will be taken forward by the Trust’s very capable staff team. Thank you again for your support and I'm sure our paths will cross again in the future.”   

To keep in touch with Anita, you can follow her on Twitter.  

To read a press release on Anita’s departure, please click here.

Hello evaluation – we need your input please

As you know, the team at the Trust are busily evaluating the Hello campaign (national year of communication). Your input into this process is very important to us.

HelloWe have produced a survey to capture your views and opinions on what worked well in Hello and lessons for future work. It will take you 10-15 minutes to complete and will make a real difference to us.        
Click here to take part.

It needs to be completed before Thursday 26th April. Thank you so much in advance for making time to do this. The Hello evaluation report will be available in May 2012.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Laura Smith on lsmith@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk or call 020 7843 2519.

Merging the websites of the Trust and Hello

With the national year of communication over, we have merged the Hello website and website of The Communication Trust into one, www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk

This means you can now easily access information about the Trust (including our programmes, consortium members and publications), alongside the resources, stories, reports and campaign documents from Hello.

Missing something? If you can't find a document or a piece of information that was on either site previously, please e-mail enquiries@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk We will email it to you and put it back on the site.


Hello website


Hello facebook

Sentence Trouble film release

Don’t miss The Communication Trust’s exciting new film Sentence Trouble, which launches today. This ten minute film makes a strong case for better communication skills within the youth justice workforce and includes the views of leading experts and practitioners.

Sentence TroubleWith over 60% of young people in the youth justice system having speech, language and communication needs, it is vital that lawyers, secure estate staff, magistrates and the police are able to recognise SLCN and reflect on their own communication skills.

The film calls for young defendants with communication needs to have the right to an intermediary and for mandatory specialist training for lawyers and magistrates.

Professor Penny Cooper, Barrister and Associate Dean at The City Law School, who appears in Sentence Trouble says: “The law must change. Whilst intermediaries are often used for vulnerable witnesses we don’t yet have legislation in force for defendants”.

Please take some time to watch the Sentence Trouble film here www.sentencetrouble.info

It has been designed as a ‘pass it on’ tool to help extend the reach to the wider youth justice workforce. Please help us spread the word by forwarding it to friends and colleagues and you can tweet about the film at @youthjusticeTCT

To read the Sentence Trouble film press release, click here.

We’d love your views on Sentence Trouble. Please email dmahon@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk  with your feedback or if you would like to receive the Youth Justice newsletter from the Trust.

The Trust in the news

The Communication Trust was saddened and concerned to learn that The ACE Centre in Oxford is closing its doors at the end of June. The centre has, for nearly 30 years, provided crucial support for children and young people with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) needs.

ACE CentreThe Trust responded to this news urging the Government to implement the recommendations that Jean Gross, formerly Communication Champion, laid out in last year’s report Specialised AAC Provision ‘commissioning national services’ to preserve specialist expertise around augmentative and alternative (AAC).

To read the Trust’s response, click here.

To read the response of Communication Matters, the lead UK organisation dedicated to supporting children and adults who need augmentative and alternative communication, click here.

This news has generated media coverage on local TV, regional news and trade publications.
Children and Young People Now
Nursery World
BBC Oxford TV
Oxford Journal

Stressing the need for Better Communication

A new report by Jean Gross (formerly England’s Communication Champion for children), the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and The Communication Trust has been released.Better Communication Report

Better Communication – shaping speech, language and communication services for children and young people highlights areas that have worked to improve their commissioning – to excellent effect - and provides evidenced guidance on all aspects of the commissioning cycle.

A lack of cross-service effective commissioning was identified in the Bercow Review as one of the main obstacles to improving outcomes for children. This report is an important legacy of the Hello campaign and we urge you to share it with contacts that have a role in shaping speech, language and communication services.

We are sending the report to all Shadow Health and Wellbeing Boards to support their work on Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and making it available to a wide range of commissioners including schools, children’s centres and public health teams.

The report can be downloaded from the commissioners section of The Communication’s Trust’s new website here.

Additional copies are available from The Communication Trust by emailing enquiries@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk

Boosting language in the classroom

A new intervention, launched at the Trust’s Cracking Communication conference, is creating a buzz. It's well known that in areas of social deprivation, upwards of 50% of children are starting school with language skills that are under-developed for their age.

Talk BoostMany of these children have the potential to catch up but only if they receive timely intervention. Talk Boost, aimed at language delayed children aged 4 – 7 years, is a targeted and evidence based intervention that can boost a child’s communication by an average of 18 months after just 10 weeks of intervention.

It has been developed by I CAN and The Communication Trust, with support from the Every Child a Chance Trust. Talk Boost is a timely intervention as for the first time, Ofsted will be evaluating how well pupils develop skills in communication and how they apply them across the curriculum. Talk Boost will help schools achieve this.

To find out more visit www.talkboost.org.uk  or email talkboost@ican.org.uk

New book listens to children and young people with SLCN

A group of experts in speech, language and communication has teamed up to create a book about the importance of listening to children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

Listening to Children and Young People with Speech, Language and Communication Needs, edited by Sue Roulstone and Sharynne McLeod, features chapters by many well-known experts in the field including The Communication Trust’s Professional Director Wendy Lee.

It's widely known that there are great benefits to consulting children with speech, language and communication needs, but very little has previously been written about the challenges involved in the process.

The editors and authors of the book, published by J&R Press, have pledged to donate £1.50 from the sale of each book to Afasic, a charity which supports children who have a specific language impairment and their families.

To order a copy, click here.


Supporting early language development

The Early Language Development Programme (ELDP) aims to support good early language development through the provision of training to Early Years Practitioners (both in settings and in homes) and Family Support Practitioners (such as Health Visitors etc). 

ELDPThe programme’s method involves providing training materials to hubs of expertise that can then be cascaded to children’s centres, private, independent and voluntary settings (PVI) settings and health practitioners.

The ELDP will target all pre-school children, but focus specifically on the younger age group i.e. babies, toddlers and children under three. There is also an emphasis on the most disadvantaged areas.
The Programme has been funded by the Department for Education until March 2014, in recognition of the importance of early communication development as a predictor of success and as a pre-requisite to appropriate learning and behaviour.

The ELDP follows the success of national programmes and campaigns such as Every Child a Talker, the Early Talk 0 – 3 pilots, the Hello campaign (national year of communication) and Talk to your Baby.  There has also been much work in many local areas to support young children’s language development including training programmes that have this focus.

The resources we provide as part of the ELDP have been written by speech and language therapists and specialist teachers.

Free training courses are being held in Birmingham, Sheffield and London in May.  To find out more please go to www.eldp.talkingpoint.org.uk or email eldp@ican.org.uk

Cracking Communication conference - A cracking event!

It was fantastic to meet so many of you at our ‘Cracking Communication’ conference on 28 March. We were delighted to welcome over 140 leaders and co-ordinators at this event centred on how to meet the communication elements of the new Ofsted and National Curriculum Frameworks.

Cracking Communication Conference SpeakerWendy Lee, Professional Director for the Trust gave the first keynote speech and we were pleased to welcome Professor Sonia Blandford from our newest partnership, the charity Achievement for All, who highlighted the importance of whole school approaches. And Neil Wilson, Executive Head of SMILE gave delegates a motivating presentation about the how communication is the key to breaking the cycles of disaffection, disengagement and underachievement. Key note presentations from the event are available here.

At the conference, a new report Building a joined-up offering for vulnerable learners, was made available. Written by Achievement for All and The Communication Trust, it highlights the need for a ‘whole school’ approach to helping children who struggle with speaking and listening to catch up with their peers. It is available to download here.

The conference, sponsored by Pearson Assessment, unveiled Talk Boost, a new targeted and
evidence-based intervention supporting language delayed children in Reception and Key Stage 1 to make significant progress with their communication skills. To find out more visit www.talkboost.org.uk

Feedback from the event was so positive that we hope to offer a similar event again in the future. If you would like to register interest in future ‘Cracking Communication’ events, please e-mail jbolton@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk

News from our members

The Communication Trust is a consortium of over 40 voluntary sector organisations. We bring together our expertise to ensure that the speech, language and communication needs of all children and young people are met through signposting specialist training, support and guidance to people working with children.

If your organisation would like to become a member of The Communication Trust’s consortium please click here for more information or e-mail enquiries@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk


1Voice - Communicating Together - Summer weekend, Friday 11th to Sunday 13th May 20121Voice

1Voice are hosting an Olympic themed summer weekend of Communicating Together for families, children and young people who use alternative and augmentative communication (AAC), their brothers, sisters and friends. 1Voice volunteers are available to support the children, however if you would like to bring one PA to provide support to your child/young person they can come FREE OF CHARGE.

Thanks to the generosity of funders the weekend is subsidised so the cost is £50.00 per adult and £25.00 per child. There are 12 places available for families and those applying to attend the whole weekend from Friday to Sunday will have priority.

For more information contact Gaynor Dale on 07932 858363 or email gaynordale@1voice.info

Communication Matters - Road ShowsCommunication Matters

Book a FREE place on a Communication Matters Road Show and find out the latest developments in communication aids, software and specialised equipment.
The UK's leading AAC suppliers will be at the CM Road Shows demonstrating an exciting range of equipment and software for people with complex communication needs.

The CM Road Shows are aimed at professionals (e.g. speech and language therapists and teachers), people who use AAC (16+), and their family members/enablers.

Confirmed dates that you can book online:

  • Cardiff - 23 April
  • Scunthorpe -25 April
  • Glasgow - 15 May 
  • Liverpool -- 22 May
  • Newcastle upon Tyne - 19 June
  • Northampton - 28 June
  • London - 13 Nov (registration open soon) 
It's free to attend but you must book a place in advance.  Book a place online here.

I CAN - Meath School children get ready, set, go! For the first ever communication triathlonI CAN

Children from Meath School in Ottershaw completed three London 2012-themed activities around Thinking, Talking and Teamwork to boost children’s speaking and listening skills as part of the Communication Triathlon from Openreach with support from I CAN, the children’s communication charity. The Communication Triathlon is part of Get Set, the official London 2012 education programme.

Following the Opening Ceremony in the morning, the children completed their interactive and fun-filled activities finishing with a grand Closing Ceremony in the afternoon, where children received individual certificates for their success in the Triathlon.

Janet Dunn from Meath School said: “We were thrilled to have participated in the Communication Triathlon. The children have really enjoyed the London 2012-themed activities. For our children who have severe and complex speech, language and communication needs we are so thrilled at how brilliantly they completed these activities. It was a fun way for the pupils to develop their communication skills which are so essential for learning and for the rest of their lives.”

To register to be part of the Communication Triathlon, simply visit www.communicationtriathlon.org.uk

Symbol UK - Life and Learning for Children with Down’s SyndromeSymbol UK

Symbol UK are offering a bigger and more exciting programme of events this yearfor children and adults with Down's syndrome, their families and the professionals who support them. Events will be held in Bristol and Kent and include individual consultations, Activity Camps, 3 day intensive assessment and intervention breaks, training days and more.

Symbol’s regrouping retreats can offer support and sustenance at times when you need to negotiate choices, decisions and problems and feel you need something extra beyond support from friends, family and local services. Families can take a few days out of their usual lives and routines to work through difficult decisions.

For more information visit www.symboluk.co.uk or contact Lorraine Trowel lorrainetrowel@symboluk.co.uk or call 01795 844440.


Hello is sponsored by:

BT and andPearson Assessment

Contact Us

If you would like to contact us please call 0207 843 2526 or email enquiries@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk
The Communication Trust, 8 Wakley Street, London, EC1V 7QE

Website: www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk
The SLCF: www.talkingpoint.org.uk/slcf

Sentence Trouble: www.sentencetrouble.info

Hello: www.hello.org.uk


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