Local Co-ordinator Newsletter
August 2011



Hello and welcome to the August edition of the Hello Local Coordinators newsletter.

It's Summer, so our focus this month is on encouraging families to turn summer day scenarios into communication opportunities. We also want to help you to plan ahead for September and the coming months, so we keep up the momentum for the rest of the national year and beyond.




August - Talk and Go

We have launched Summer Talk – a downloadable pack with games and activities that support children’s communication skills when families are out and about this Summer. It includes fun and ‘easy to do’ activities for trips to the zoo, park and museum and contains games and challenges to keep kids entertained on car journeys and at home.

Here’s a snippet from the Trolley Challenge game:

If you have children aged 4 – 5 years, when you are out shopping, every time you put something in your trolley ask your child to tell you 2 things about it, e.g. banana – ‘it’s yellow and you eat it ’

Partners from across the country, including Hello sponsor BT, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, Signalong and Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust and Children’s Speech and Language Therapy team, have provided the activities as part of their support of Hello.

Another partner, Fink, has created a month-long calendar of activities in support of ‘Talk and Go’. Fink provides question cards to encourage conversation within the family to ensure children become confident communicators.  Fink’s support includes a free activity and conversation booklet for the summer holidays, tips and expert blogs from the likes of parenting expert Sue Atkins. These are all available from http://www.finkcards.co.uk/resources/blog

Please click here to download Summer Talk.

You can read the August press release here

If you are running August activities or have done so already, we would love to hear from you at hello@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk



Test your fitness with BT Talk Gym

Last month our theme was ‘Skills for work and life’. With BT, we launched a new resource Talk Gym, to help young people aged 14-19 to develop their communication skills. It was developed as part of BT’s sponsorship of Hello and is a great way to work with young people on improving their communication skills. Talk Gym

Talk Gym includes an innovative Facebook application to help young people check their 'Talk Fitness" which you can view here.

Hello has also developed a quick advice guide on using Talk Gym in the classroom which you can access here.

Please help us spread the word about Talk Gym to teachers, young people and their parents.

To find out more about Talk Gym visit www.bt.com/talkgym. Teachers Notes are also available to download from this site.


Update on the Shine a Light Awards

We are delighted to report that we have had a fantastic response to the Shine a Light 2011 Hello campaign awards with over 250 applications.

The Hello team and Pearson Assessment would like to thank all of you after applying for an award yourselves or encouraging others to do so. The number and standard of applications received has been high and it's amazing to see such incredible working being carried out across the country.

What happens next?Shine a Light

We will send a confirmation email (or letter if necessary) confirming that we've received your application, and it's eligible for consideration, by Friday 19th August. Between now and the end of September, all applications will be read and assessed against the published criteria.

The Shine a Light Judges will be meeting on the 12th October to select the applicants of the year and two highly commended runners-up for each Award. We will aim to notify all finalists by 25th October and invited to attend the Shine a Light Awards Ceremony on 23rd November in London.

In a change to previously published information, please note all applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by Monday 25th October at the very latest. If you have any questions, please contact:-

helloawards@psychcorp.co.uk or call Sandra Telford in the Hello team on 020 7843 2530.

Bookmark the website http://www.helloawards.co.uk/ for regular updates.


September - Back to school

September’s theme is ‘Back to School’, when a month of schools based activity will take place. This includes No Pens Day Wednesday - a brand new initiative from Hello .

Schools are being encouraged to put down their pens and pick up their language on Wednesday 28th September. 400 primary and secondary schools have already signed up to date and interest is growing! This means over 100,000 children and young people are set to take part in this inaugural Hello event.

For more information about No Pens Day Wednesday please click here

How you can help us before September?
No Pens Day

Firstly, thank you to all of you who have already helped to spread the word about this initiative. We are keen to get as many schools as possible taking part. To help you shout about it, we've developed text here that you can put on websites, newsletters and also specific text aimed at Head teachers. An introductory guide is available here to help schools plan their involvement.

If schools can't join us on that day don't worry, they can make any day No Pens Day!

Other news..

Hello has worked with the Times Education Supplement (TES) to produce a special Hello supplement Talk, Listen, Take Part. The supplement has been co-funded by the Communication Champion, Jean Gross, and Hello sponsor BT to a brief developed by The Communication Trust. TES

It will be distributed with the TES on September 2nd. The supplement looks at some of the issues explored by the Hello campaign and focuses on a number of schools that have developed effective strategies to develop their pupils’ speech, language and communication skills.

A digital edition of the supplement will be available on the TES website. Hello co-ordinators will be able to download the supplement and send the link to others to spread the word.

Watch this space for more information.





Hello website


Hello facebook

Tell us your story...

This month’s story comes from Nannette, whose daughter has Downs Syndrome. Thanks to Nannette for sharing her story with us.

“My daughter has Down’s Syndrome, she has both severe learning and communication difficulties. We knew when she was a small baby she would have difficulties with speech and language.

When she was around 15 months old we were offered a place on a Signalong course by our local Speech and Language Department. I was a bit unsure at first as I had never done anything like this and had never met anybody who had signed. The course lasted six weeks and was basic vocabulary.

Once finished I got stuck in straight away and was practising signs every day, simple things like animals and food signs. After about three months I started to get disheartened as she did not pick any signs up and I was almost ready to give up, thinking it was not working. I did not realise at the time the significance of the learning delay and expected immediate results.

Then we had a eureka moment. We were shopping in a local store and I was signing foods as we were going round and at the till she signed clearly chocolate, I was so happy and then she did it a couple of times. This gave me the encouragement to carry on and after the initial delay she picked up lots of signs, but would not do them spontaneously to ask for things, but over time it came.

She is now six years old and has very little clear speech but signs fantastically. She is now more spontaneous with her signs and knows well in excess of 250. Because of her communication difficulties she is very frustrated and this affects her behaviour. If she could not sign life would be impossible for her. The fact she can sign means she can ask for a drink, biscuit, toast and crisp. It means we can have a conversation all be it limited but she can sign me one or two words and we can take it from there.

I am so glad I did not give up on the signs when she was younger, it would have been easy to do as it felt quite disheartening at times but the long term results speak for themselves.”

You can view Nannette's full story here

This story shows how powerful a parent’s perception is – please encourage more parents to share their stories with us.

You can upload stories here or if you would rather let us know over the phone, please call us on 0207 843 2517.



Coming up in October

In October, the Hello monthly theme is Not Just Words.  We will be focusing on children and young people who have no speech, or whose speech is difficult to understand. October is also International Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Month.  

If you haven’t already, download or order "Other Ways of Speaking" here – a new information booklet for parents and professionals that provides information on the different ways children and young people communicate, how to support them and where to go for further information and help.

During October, the Hello campaign will be shining a light on the work of key organisations in this area. One of these is Communication Matters, who have been running an ‘I'll be Asking the Questions’ competition for people who use AAC. This is culminating in October with the winners meeting a celebrity to ask them their winning questions.

Your support to raise awareness of this often misunderstood subject, and the organisations that can help, will make a big difference. If you are planning October activity, please tell us about it by emailing hello@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk

Hello Parliamentary Reception – request for help

Our major event in October is the national year of communication parliamentary reception, taking place on 19th October.  This event will give us the opportunity to highlight the key successes of the Hello campaign and to recognise the enormous amount of work that has been put into the campaign across the country. 

What we’ve achieved wouldn’t have been possible without you!

This event is a great opportunity to show MPs and key sponsors our progress to date and ensure that we gain their support for the rest of the year and beyond. We want to showcase the fantastic things you have been doing, and the materials that you've developed, to promote Hello in your area and support children's communication development.

Help us bring Hello to life by sending us through leaflets, posters, information packs, press releases, press coverage and photos.

Please email us copies at hello@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk. You can also post items to Sandra Telford, The Communication Trust, 8 Wakely Street, London, EC1V 7QE.

One in a million - Hello film

To help highlight the challenges experienced by children with speech, language and communication needs, the Hello campaign has launched a new short film, One in a million.Hello Film

Produced with support from Pearson Assessment, the film is narrated by Ben Macleod, a 21 year old actor who developed severe communication needs at a young age.

The film highlights that as many as one million children and young people have hidden long term and persistent speech, language and communication needs. It also makes clear what both parents and professionals, such as teachers and health workers, can do to help children by taking part in the Hello campaign.

To view the film on our brand new You Tube channel please click here.


Update on Hello Publications

Misunderstood: Misunderstood explains what speech, language and communication needs are, includes advice and guidance on how to support communication development. It now includes a new section for parents to give them guidance on what to do if they suspect their children may have a communication difficulty.

Please help us share this booklet with people who would benefit from further guidance on this subject.
You can order and download this booklet here

Universally Speaking: This is a series of three booklets for professionals to show where children and young people are likely to be at with their communication at a given age. The first of this series is ready (for Early Years practitioners) and available to download from here on the Hello website. The versions for Primary school practitioners and Secondary school practitioners will be available in September. Please watch this space for further updates.

These booklets have been produced with the support of Pearson Assessment, Hello sponsor.

Feedback on our publications

Over the past 6 months we have launched a number of new publications and resources for the Hello campaign (for a full list please go to the Hello website - www.hello.org.uk/resources).

We very much appreciate your feedback on our publications to help us when planning future publications and to ensure they are supporting you at home or in the workplace.

We have produced the following feedback forms and welcome any comments:
- Click here if you use the publication(s) in your workplace as a practitioner.
- Click here if you use the publication(s) at home as a parent.

Please send completed forms to hello@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk or post to The Communication Trust, 8 Wakley Street, London, EC1V 7QE

Update from our Local Advisor, Alison


Over the last couple of months, we have continued to see lots of local activity supporting Hello.
Just this month for Augusts’ Talk and Go theme, we have seen South Essex Speech and Language Therapists run a fantastic ‘Speech on the Beach’ day. They encouraged families to create an enormous Hello logo on the beach out of seaweed, stones and shells with 'top tips for talking' on sandcastle flags.

Also over in Bristol, families are being encouraged to use a ‘Wow! Gorillas’ hunt around the city to develop their child’s speech and language. A parent guide has been developed, which includes talking tips and ideas to follow up at home. It is all wonderful stuff and please keep sharing your stories at www.hello.org.uk/yourstories

I am working with The Communication Trust on the Hello campaign until the beginning of March next year. Part of my role is to support you as Hello local co-ordinators with your local activities.

Please get in touch if you need any advice or support or if you just want to talk through your plans. I am available on 020 7843 2541 or you can email me at amarrs@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk

I look forward to continuing to work with you!

Best wishes


A little checklist for this month

Have you...

- Tested your Communication Fitness with BT Talk Gym?
- Shared your story with us, or encouraged a parent or someone else to?
- Spread the word about No Pens Day Wednesday?
- Sent us your Hello display material for the Parliamentary event?
- Checked you have all the latest Hello resources?
- Had thoughts or comments on this newsletter or got a burning question we need to answer?

Email us at hello@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk

News from our members

The Communication Trust runs the Hello campaign and we are one of 40 voluntary sector organisations who are all members of The Communication Trust Consortium. 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.

From time to time we will share information from other Trust members that we think may be useful to you.

I CAN Help Enquiry Service

Concerned about a child’s talking, listening and understanding? I CAN has launched a new service to provide expert information to parents and practitioners about speech, language and communication.
I CAN speech and language therapists can help - whether you would like to check ages and stages or find out how to support a child with a known speech, language and communication need.

Call 020 7843 2544 or email enquiries@ican.org.uk to book your free and confidential call-back from a speech and language therapist. If you would prefer an email response to your questions please email your enquiry to enquiries@ican.org.uk

Find out more about what our speech and language therapists can offer at www.ican.org.uk/help.

As this service does not include meeting and assessing children, we are unable to provide specific advice about a child or the level of provision they should have.

KIDS Launch 'Everybody’s Business'

This publication offers all play, leisure and childcare providers practical advice, activities, and ideas on how best to include disabled children aged under eight years old in a range of play settings. Included with the book is a free A2 poster entitled ‘Including All of Us.’

To order your copy click here.

Talk to Your Baby 2011 Conference

The National Literacy Trust’s Talk To Your Baby campaign is delighted to announce its 2011 conference, Foundations for Life: shaping babies' futures in an evolving landscape. The conference aims to bring together professionals and practitioners from across the early years sector to discuss current research and practice around securing high quality outcomes for babies and young children.

Excitingly, this year’s conference will feature a keynote speech from the author of the Early Years Foundation Stage Review, Dame Clare Tickell, Chief Executive of Action for Children, on improving practice through effective policy.

The conference takes place at the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Savoy Place, London, on Friday 4 November 2011. It is designed for anyone working with families with young children.

There is an early booking price, so to find out more and book your place click here


Hello is sponsored by:

BTand 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

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.

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/


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