Local Co-ordinator Newsletter
April 2011



Hello and welcome to the first Hello local co-ordinators monthly newsletter. 

This newsletter is created for you so we can keep you up to date with news, forthcoming events and available resources. We will be answering your questions, offering support to what you are doing and working with you to shape the rest of the campaign.


Firstly we would like to say a very big THANK YOU to all of you for your contribution to the Hello campaign so far, especially during these uncertain times. With your help we have had a fantastic start to the campaign, resulting in:

  • Over 70 events and conferences being held across the country
  • 72,000 publications disseminated
  • 11,000 visits a month to the Hello website
  • Over 120 confirmed Hello local co-ordinators
  • 1,000 likes on facebook for the Hello campaign
  • Quotes of support from senior politicians and celebrities including Prime Minister David Cameron, broadcaster John Humphrys, Jude Law, comedian Jack Whitehall and actress Geraldine James - to name a few
  • Every primary and secondary school in the country being sent a milestone poster
  • Regular media coverage including The Independent, The Guardian, Children and Young People Now, Childcare magazine and the Wandsworth Guardian.

The real variety and excitement is happening locally. Passionate people like you are shouting about Hello from the rooftops helping us to reach more and more professionals, comTeacher and childmissioners, families and children.

Whether it’s Nottingham launching their ‘Language for Life’ strategy, Sunderland children’s centres creating free ‘Rhyme of the Month’ downloads or Devon County Council bringing 40 families affected by communication difficulties together for a ‘fun day’ – the wealth of creative ideas are impressive.

Work is taking place at individual, setting and strategic levels and we want to hear about what you have done – whether it’s big or small. This newsletter is an excellent way for you to share your success stories and learnings so please keep posting them on the Hello website at www.hello.org.uk/your-stories.

The first quarter has been fantastic and the Hello ‘ripple effect’ is increasing month on month. Keep spreading the word because there is still so much more for us to achieve together.




The Hello monthly themes

Every month we’ll be looking at our monthly themes and how you can support them through organising your own activities and events. Remember the themes are here to help you and to provide you with ways to tie into broader campaign activity. They are not here to constrain you – you may want to work outside of them and we can support you to do this. You may be able to do something each month or you may wish to pick the key three or four themes that get across your key messages in the best way.

Why not download our monthly themes calendar? That way you’ll know what themes are coming up and you can even personalise your calendar by adding your own events to it. Click here to download now.



April - Listen up!

If a child can’t listen and understand, they’ll struggle to talk. Being able to listen, pay attention, play and understand are the fundamental building blocks of communication.

It can be really difficult for parents and professionals to see and recognise what happens beneath the surface of children’s communication – that why our theme this month is ‘It’s not just about talking’.Communication Pyramid

We are raising awareness of the Communication Development Pyramid (seen to the right). To bring this to life we've developed two brand new FREE resources to encourage listening, understanding, interaction and play. Short and simple activities that can be done easily and quickly and with everyday things.

- For pre-school children, Listen Up (0-5), includes a card game with fun activities and advice on how parents and early year's workers can use the resource.

- Remember fortune tellers from the school playground? The folded up square pieces of paper that you control with your fingers and thumbs? Well you will when you see it!  For school aged children Listen Up (5-11) includes a fun fortune teller with the card game.

Although these resources are primarily for parents, we know you can encourage families to have fun with them. That’s why we would be delighted to send you some so that you can pass on to the parents within your networks. Stocks are limited so please use wisely!

All we ask is that you let us know parent’s feedback, how many people you have reached and of course your thoughts. Alternatively you can point parents in the right direction to download their own copy.

To order a free copy of Listen Up email hello@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk. Write 'Listen Up' in the subject header and include your name, full postal address and the age of your child or children you work with. We'll send you the resource at the end of April.


- Read about how one of our consortium members Mencap is promoting the April theme highlighting the non-verbal needs of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. Please click here.

- Download Universally Speaking; the ages and stages of children’s communication development from birth to 5 at www.hello.org.uk/resources. This resource has been developed with Pearson Assessment for those who work with children in the early years and will be available to order soon.

- Take a look at Nottingham’s ‘Language for Life’ as an example of a strategy that aims to ensure all agencies work together to develop children’s language and communication skills. Please click here.




A little checklist for this month

Have you...

- Checked you have all the Hello resources? More coming each month
- Organised a Hello working group?
- Told us what you've been doing in your local area?
- Phoned us for some advice?
- Viewed the Talking Point website and seen our new ‘Progress Checker’?
- Had thoughts or comments on this newsletter or got a burning question we need to answer? Email us at hello@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk


May - Good communication begins at home

Language and communication is everywhere, so everything we do can be turned into a language opportunity for children. In May a number of new initiatives and events are launching, which will appeal to a wide audience and again will benefit enormously from your support. 

Roar with Raa Raa

One of the hot topics we hear about is the use of TV in the home and how it could be turned into a Raa Raacommunication opportunity. We have partnered with Chapman Entertainment, award-winning creators of much loved children’s TV shows, such as Little Charley Bear®, Fifi and the Flowertots® and Roary The Racing Car®.  

Raa Raa the Noisy Lion® is Chapman Entertainment’s newest creation and ties in perfectly with the national year of communication. Raa Raa helps children find their voice as he goes on a noisy journey with his friends through the jingly jangly jungle learning and developing their communication skills through the use of Raa Raa’s 4Rs – repetition, rhythm, rhyme and retelling.

We have worked with Chapman Entertainment on their nursery mailer pack – which will drop in nurseries from the week commencing 9th May. This fantastic pack includes a practitioners guide, activity sheets and a parent activity sheet plus Raa Raa DVD’s for every child.

Raa Raa’s adventures will be shown on CBeebies every weekday at 3.30pm from Monday 9th May and on CBeebies iPlayer.  Help us shout about Raa Raa by making sure your nurseries are using the pack and the fantastic activity ideas.

You can also find more information about Raa Raa at www.raaraathenoisylion.com

Communication Matters road shows Communication Matters

During May and June there will be a wave of regional Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) events and activities across the UK, supported by Communication Matters and linked to Hello

Events can include an individual school activity or a larger regional event so are ideally suited to involvement from you as local co-ordinators.  The AAC wave of events will travel throughout the UK, starting in Cornwall on the 2nd May and finishing in Aberdeen week commencing 20th June. 

You can find out more about these road shows and how to get involved here

 If you are interested in being part of an event or holding one yourself please contact Sally Chan from Communication Matters at the following email address: sallychan@blueyonder.co.uk


- Download and order Other ways of Speaking – a booklet that looks at the different methods we use to communicate. This is an excellent resource to raise awareness of the needs of those children and young people who use alternative and augmentative communication. Help us get it out there – pass information on about it (there will be a press release in due course) and write up a piece on it in your local newsletters.

- We are supporting National Family Week – the biggest  annual celebration of family life in the UK taking place during the Summer half term holiday (30 May - 5 June 2011). NFW

This is a fantastic initiative to get involved with and to promote amongst your networks – particularly highlighting the importance of communication. Find out more and see if there is an event near you at www.nationalfamilyweek.co.uk


June - Primary schools 'get on your marks'

I CAN, one of our consortium members, and Openreach, a BT Group business, has worked in partnership to develop the first ever National Communication Triathlon. I CAN

The Communication Triathlon is a series of active and fun-filled events for primary schools, intended to boost speaking and listening skills, which can be undertaken by a class, a year group or a whole school over the course of a week or even a day.

The programme encourages children to take part in three London 2012-themed speaking and listening activities around Thinking, Talking and Teamwork and is split across 4-7 and 7-11 year olds.

Additionally, the Communication Triathlon is part of Get Set, the official London 2012 education programme.  To celebrate their achievement and recognise their hard work, children are awarded with a certificate and even participate in a closing ceremony.

Again, this is an excellent initiative for our team of local co-ordinators to get involved in, so please use your skills and contacts to drum up support in your local community.  To get your Communication Triathlon pack go to www.communicationtriathlon.org.uk.


- Our theme for June is ‘Imagine what it is like for children who struggle’. This will be an important time for all of us to get messages out about speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and its impact on children, young people and families.

- We will have a number of resources available including the Misunderstood and Universally Speaking ‘ages and stages’ booklets for primary and secondary.

- A conference on SLCN in older children and young people is taking place from the 15-17th June 2011 at City University.  It is being hosted jointly by the Department of Language and Communication Science, City University London, I CAN and Afasic.  Places are limited, so if you are interested book ASAP. Register and find out more here.   

- Keep an eye out for our Hello short film, campaigning toolkit (including letters to MPs and a Communication Charter) and be prepared to do a big push on Talking Point, www.talkingpoint.org.uk as it has a progress checker for those who are concerned about a child.



Hello website


Hello facebook

Tell us your story...

Every week we highlight a news story from one of our local co-ordinators. So please keep posting them on the website and we will be in touch if your story is going to be featured. You can upload your story here:  www.hello.org.uk/your-stories/your-stories.aspx. If you would rather let us know over the phone please call us on 0207 843 2517.

Our first shared story comes from Ian Davies, Parent Governor at Aspull Church Primary School in Wigan. Thank you Ian for sharing your story with us!

The Shining Stars...

The Hello campaign was launched at Aspull Church Primary School assembly on 28th February by Ian Davies, Parent Governor. The children were invited to write Ian a letter explaining why they wanted to be part of the Hello team which they named ‘The Shining Stars’. The children and school then set about agreeing on a series of activities to test and improve their communication skills.

The first activity involved a listening exercise whereby the children took it in turns to tell part of a story that they made up as they went along.  One child would talk for twenty seconds, then the next child would take over and continue the story, adding to it, but also making reference to what had previously been said.   As you can imagine, the stories always ended up being very funny and totally ridiculous, but the main point was that the children had listened and absorbed what had been said before their turn. 

(That in itself is a real achievement, as much of the time we’re more intent on thinking about what we’ll say when it’s our turn than what is being said to us – and that’s just the grownups!)

The Shining Stars have subsequently come up with 5 activities linked to communication, which make great reading, one of which is the ‘Timebomb’. To find out more you’ll have to visit the website and view the story here.

Publications and resources

We are developing a number of resources for the children’s workforce and for parents. Here are the details about the resources that have recently been made available or are currently in development.

Communication Milestone Posters: Every primary school and secondary school in England has received a poster, developed by I CAN for Hello, which displays children's and young people's communication milestones. The poster is available to download and you can order further copies from www.hello.org.uk/resources.

Universally Speaking: With Pearson Assessment we are developing 3 Ages and Stages booklets; titled Universally Speaking, divided into age groups: Early Years (0-5), Primary (5-11) and Secondary (11-16). The first of these, the Early Years version, is now available to download.

The Primary and Secondary versions are in development and we will update you on the progress of these in the next newsletter.Other Ways of Speaking

Other Ways of Speaking: This is a booklet that looks at the different methods we use to communicate, especially the methods used by children who have difficulties with speaking.

The booklet was developed with Communication Matters, 1Voice, ACE Centre, ACE Centre North, The Makaton Charity, Singalong and Scope, and will be available to order at the end of this month.

Small Talk: With BT we are developing a booklet for parents of children aged 0-5 to show where children are likely to be at a certain age with their communication. The booklet is currently in development and will be available to download and order by the end of next month.

Regional Advisors

We have been very lucky to have 3 regional local Hello advisors, for a two month period, through Vodafone’s World of Difference campaign. Their role is to provide valuable support to you and other key contacts on the ground and to support and encourage local Hello involvement at individual, setting or strategic level.

During their time with us Alison, Linda and Robin, have been instrumental in getting the campaign up and running and we thank them for their enthusiasm and determination. 

They have been involved in a wide range of activities, including the following:

  • Delivering a Hello introduction presentation at a literacy leader’s workshop day.
  • Attending an Every Child a Talker celebration day as well as an SLCN conference to disseminate Hello information and learn about good practice across settings.
  • Presenting Hello information to a group of support workers.
  • Supporting networking between regional steering groups in order for them to share ideas and best practice.
  • Chatting to local co-ordinators about their ideas for Hello to support them in the planning, resourcing, funding and promotion of their plans – this includes sharing stories on the Hello website.  
  • Assisting with one area’s SLCN framework mapping.
The advisors will be leaving the Trust at the end of May to return to their respective careers and will be sadly missed. But don’t worry once they have left we will still be here to support you. Please do keep in touch with your queries or to have a general chat at:  localadvisorsct@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk

Don't forget...

We have already developed lots of resources you can use or pass on to your contacts. Below is a reminder of a few of the things we have produced for you:

- Hello Calendar – shows the monthly themes and has space for you to add your own events
- All Together Now toolkit - contains advice and guidance on how to encourage your contacts to get involved in the campaign
- E-Communications Toolkit - contains information about Hello that you can upload onto your website, facebook, twitter, blogs and in your newsletters.
- Press release template and quick guide to local media work
- Publications and posters – to give more information about speech, language and communication
- Resource catalogue - a great list of resources for universal communication and SLCN support

Go to www.hello.org.uk/resources to check out what we have. All of these resources are based on our partner’s expertise and guidance and examples that we have seen in practice. Watch this space for resource updates and bookmark the website

The next newsletter will be a special one off edition looking at the monthly themes for the rest of the year. To opt out please email enquiries@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk


Hello is sponsored by:

BT and andPearson Assessment

Contact Us

If you would like to contact us please call 0207 843 2550 or email enquiries@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk
The Communication Trust, 8 Wakley Street, London, EC1V 7QE


For further information or to include a piece in the newsletter please contact Sandra Telford stelford@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk, 0207 843 2530

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

Sentence Trouble: www.sentencetrouble.info

Hello: www.hello.org.uk