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Introduction

The Giving Voice campaign aims to ‘give voice’ to people with speech, language and communication needs – to ensure their requirements, and those of their carers and families are met.

Our aim is to demonstrate how speech and language therapy makes a difference to individuals and the broader society across the UK.

Giving Voice helps speech and language therapy services to demonstrate speech and language therapists’ unique value to national and local decision makers, while showing evidence of our efficiency and value for money.

'Campaigning’ is a very broad term, describing everything from a community group getting together to petition against the closure of a local swimming pool, to a presidential election campaign which reverberates around the globe.

The Giving Voice campaign looks different wherever RCSLT members pick up and run with the concept. However, by promoting the four principal messages below, our collective activity contributes towards a groundswell of awareness and appreciation of the role of speech and language therapy in our communities.

Our key messages:

  • Speech and language therapists (SLTs) are specialists who enable people to develop or regain vital communication and swallowing skills.
  • Problems with speech and language imprison the individual and severely limit their participation in family life, the community, education and the world of work.
  • Tackling communication and swallowing problems reduces avoidable costs and waste in the NHS, local authorities, the criminal justice system and the wider economy.
  • Urgent changes are needed to support timely access to speech and language therapy for those who need it.
  • Giving Voice broke new ground for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and we hope it marks the start of an exciting journey for you too. Thank you for finding the time and energy to learn more about the campaign and do explore these pages, which are full of useful resources to help you raise awareness about your profession.

Giving Voice resources

Giving Voice Toolkit 

This toolkit is designed to support RCSLT members who want to participate in Giving Voice campaigning. If you feel you need further training or assistance after reading the toolkit, please contact us and we will endeavour to help you.

Download the Giving Voice Toolkit 

Local influencing 

Our local influencing pages provide resources that will help you demonstrate to your local stakeholders how you:

  • Deliver their objectives
  • Improve outcomes for them
  • Improve outcomes for people who benefit from speech and language therapy

Giving Voice factsheets 

These factsheets include case studies and peoples’ stories showing how Speech and Language Therapy changes lives.

Download the Giving Voice factsheets 

Merchandise

Using Giving Voice merchandise is a simple and effective way to spread the campaign message among your professional colleagues and at events with the public and politicians. We have a range of items – everything from badges and pens to booklets and balloons – for you to choose from. Simply download the order form, fill it in and email to campaigns@rcslt.org today.

Download merchandise form

Giving Voice Local Activity Fund 

To encourage members to engage in the Giving Voice campaign, the RCSLT has created a local activity fund, out of which up to £200 will be awarded each quarter to up to three Giving Voice campaign groups.

Since the campaign launched in autumn 2010, members have excelled at planning and delivering local Giving Voice activity with no financial support from the RCSLT. This fund is designed to enable a selection of the most ambitious, creative and innovative ideas to get off the ground. The RCSLT strongly encourages its members to continue to plan Giving Voice activities that are low or no cost. Many services and student groups have managed this so far to great effect.

If you wish to offset any of the £200 against Giving Voice merchandise, please also complete the Giving Voice merchandise form and send it back together with the completed local activity fund application.

Download the Giving Voice Local Activity Fund application form 

Using the Giving Voice logo

You are able to download and use these Giving Voice logos on the material you produce for your campaign. However, please also download the Giving Voice logo guidelines to adhere to the rules of usage.

Giving Voice logo 1

Giving Voice logo 2

Stammering awareness resources 

International Stammering Awareness Day: 22 October 2019

International Stammering Awareness Day took place on 22 October this year. 

There are many misconceptions about stammering in the media and among the general public, so the RCSLT used this day to raise awareness of the reality of living with a stammer – and we encouraged our members and service users to do the same.

We created two posters that you can download below, to help you raise awareness of stammering among your friends, colleagues and the general public. These can be printed and displayed in your workplace or shared via social media. 

Stammering awareness poster 1

Stammering awareness poster 2 

Many thanks to cartoonist Gareth Cowlin and author Paul O’Meara, the talented creatives who helped to put these posters together.

On Tuesday 22 October the Giving Voice Twitter channel also underwent a ‘takeover’ from Paul, who answered questions about what it’s like living with a stammer. Be sure to search #AskAStammerer to catch up on the conversation! 

Swallowing Awareness Day Campaign 2020

Join the Swallowing Awareness Day Campaign – 18 March 2020

#SwallowAware2020

Join us for another day of campaigning to highlight how dysphagia affects people’s lives, and how speech and language therapy transforms the experiences of those living with the condition – from infants through to adults.

We want to make Swallowing Awareness Day 2020 bigger and better than ever so we need all of you, your friends, colleagues and family to get involved with the campaign!

Thanks to some truly imaginative collaboration between members of the public and healthcare professionals around the globe, the 2019 campaign reached an impressive 2.46-million people in 55 countries. 

To help you campaign in 2020, we’ve built a toolkit where you’ll find everything you need to get you started with running a successful Swallowing Awareness Day campaign. The toolkit includes posters, coasters, placemats, and factsheets, which are available to download below.

Make sure you share your campaign activity with us on Instagram and Twitter – as we would love to see how you are raising awareness! Please use the hashtag #swallowaware2020 and tag @RCSLT and @GivingVoiceUK when you’re posting your messages, images and videos.

We hope you have a great Swallowing Awareness Day 2020!

Want to get involved? Here are some ideas:

  • Hold an Afternoon S.L.Tea – Create afternoon tea parties with appetising menus that explore sensory food experiences and showcase pretty plates of dysphagia-friendly food. Post your photos on social media and we’ll select some of the best for publication in Bulletin.
  • Spread the word - Take your campaign to the heart of the community by inviting your local MP, press, and/or members of the public to your event.
  • Collaborate with celebrity chefs – Have you thought about approaching high- profile chefs to help you create recipes for delicious dysphagia-friendly meals? Maybe they’d like to meet service users and hear their thoughts on how they can accommodate diners with dysphagia in their restaurants/hotels/pubs/cafes?
  • Living with dysphagia? – Encourage your services users to share their stories on social media of what it’s like to live with dysphagia, the barriers they face, the support they receive, and the changes they would like to see from the food industry.
  • Hold Local Food and Drink Awards – Here’s a chance to engage with local food establishments who provide dysphagia-friendly menus/dining experiences and celebrate their efforts.
  • The Great British Blend Off - Create and share a modified version of your favourite meal or dessert with colleagues, friends and family and pick a winning-recipe!
  • Take the Cake Challenge – Try eating cake without using your lips, tongue or teeth Create a stand and invite people to try with you.
  • Talk to schoolchildren - Working in a school? Why not hold a creative session to educate the pupils about people’s swallowing difficulties?
  • Come Dine with Me! – Host a ‘special meal’ for friends and/or family, all with a little modification of course.
  • Set up a stand – With these materials you can go places! Be interactive and creative as you raise awareness.
  • 24-hour Challenge - Run a 24-hour thickened fluid challenge for colleagues, friends, and family.
  • Mocktail anyone? - Create and share your favourite mocktail with colleagues, friends, and family, stage 1, 2 or 3 – you decide.
  • Make your own campaign material! – Use the Swallowing Awareness Day logos and guidelines to create your own campaign collateral for your activities.

Download:

Swallowing Awareness Day 2020 - Merchandise Order Form

Campaign logos and guidelines

English version – colour - eps format

English version - colour - jpg format

Welsh version - colour - eps format

Welsh version - colour - jpg format

Swallowing Awareness Day logo guidelines

Campaign banners

Swallowing Awareness Day Header

Swallowing Awareness Day Footer

Campaign posters

English:

Dysphagia: Back to Basics Poster / Placemat

Dysphagia: A Difficult Diagnosis to Swallow Poster

Dysphagia: Who does it affect?

Dysphagia: How it is Assessed? Poster

Dysphagia: What Can Be Done to Help? Poster

Dysphagia: How Can Speech and Language Therapists Help? Poster

Dysphagia: How Does it Affect Children? Poster

Dysphagia: Val's Story Poster

Welsh:

Dysffagia: Diagnosis anodd ei lyncu

Dysffagia: Sut mae’n effeithio ar blant?

Dysffagia: Sut y gall therapyddion lleferydd ac iaith helpu?

Dysffagia: Sut y caiff ei asesu?

Dysffagia: Beth ellir ei wneud i helpu?

Dysffagia: Ar bwy mae’n effeithio?

Stori lyncu Val

Matiau Diod 2020

Campaign Factsheets

Giving voice to people with swallowing difficulties Factsheet

Infant Dysphagia Factsheet

Learning Disabilities Factsheet

Parkinson's Factsheet

Supporting People with Head and Neck Cancer Factsheet

Tableware 

Placemat 2020

Cut-out coasters 2020

Storytelling Project

Background

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists continuously reviews the way it puts you at the heart of its activity, which is why we have undertaken an exciting UK-wide video project which celebrates and highlights the valuable work you do.

Join us and be part of this amazing journey and together we will showcase how speech and language therapists support and transform the lives of people with communication and/or swallowing difficulties.

The aims of the project

  • provide a 360 degree view of how people at any stage of their lives can have communication and/or swallowing disabilities and how speech and language therapists assess their needs and support them.
  • create a powerful, useful, and lasting bank of videos which deliver first-hand accounts of people’s communication and/or swallowing needs.
  • publish and share videos which will inspire, inform and help people.

Target audience for the project:

  • Public
  • Decision makers
  • Colleagues
  • Media
  • Politicians

How you can be part of the project

This project has been designed to enable partnership working so that together we can co-produce a powerful resource for both the speech and language therapy profession and the public.

We are looking for:

  • Powerful, emotive service user speech and language therapy stories to capture the imagination of our target audience.
  • Videos which highlight the impact communication and/or swallowing difficulties can have on people’s lives and those around them.
  • Films which demonstrate how speech and language therapists assess communication and/or swallowing needs, subsequently providing valuable support to rehabilitate, enhance and transform people’s lives.

If you would like to get involved, please capture stories on video and send them to us with a copy of the signed consent form (see download section below) so we can help promote your work.

Please view and download the toolkit below to get you started and if you want to follow the conversation around the Storytelling Project on social media you can use #SLTStories .

Of course, if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch and the team will endeavour to help.

Download The Speech and Language Therapy Storytelling Project Toolkit

Watch the videos created to accompany the Storytelling Project

Ryan has had severe communication difficulties since birth. Watch his story and see how speech and language therapy has helped him. 

Christine has had a stammer all her life. She discusses what it's like and how speech and language therapy has helped her.

Clodagh is recovering from a stroke, which initially caused her to be locked-in. She discusses how speech and language therapists played a pivotal role in her recovery.

Campaigns and awards

News

If you’ve got an interesting story to share and want to inspire other Giving Voice campaigners, please email 250-500 words and some good quality images to campaigns@rcslt.org and we’ll help you promote your activities to a wider audience.

If you’re posting news of your Giving Voice activities on Twitter you may also want to alert the RCSLT by tagging @GivingVoiceUK and @RCSLT in your tweets.  

Giving Voice Awards

Held annually by the RCSLT, the Giving Voice Awards celebrate the impactful activities and achievements of Giving Voice campaigners as well as recognising those who have contributed to improving the lives of people with communication and/or swallowing needs. Stay tuned as we’ll be announcing this year’s winners later this month.

Swallowing Awareness Day

The RCSLT leads this campaign annually (usually in Spring) to highlight how dysphagia affects people’s lives, and how speech and language therapists transform the experiences of those living with the condition.

The 2019 campaign reached 2.46 million people in 55 countries across the world. Details about the RCSLT’s 2020 campaign will be announced later this year. 

Voice Box

Voice Box is a UK-wide joke competition for main stream and special primary schools, which reminds people that all children need support to build their communication skills and confidence and some need additional specialist help to speak and/or understand what is being said to them. 

My Journey My Voice

My Journey My Voice is the critically acclaimed multimedia exhibition featuring stories and portraits of people with communication disabilities, which has been touring Northern Ireland.

The exhibition, which features nine portraits by local photographer Laurence Gibson, is a collaborative project. It has been commissioned by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists as part of its Giving Voice campaign and is supported by Disability Action and the Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Board.

Experience the exhibition

Awareness-raising events 

2019

February

RCSLT awareness event resources - February 2019 

March

RCSLT awareness event resources - March 2019 

September

RCSLT awareness event resources - September 

November

RCSLT awareness events resources – November 2019

December

RCSLT awareness events - December 2019

2020

February

RCSLT awareness event resources - February 2020

Material for MPs

Here you will find:

General Election 2019

 

On 12 December voters headed to the polling stations to have their say via the ballot box in the next UK general election. Now the election is over, the facility to contact your candidates has been closed. We will be providing a new facility to contact your MPs in the New Year.

 

The RCSLT worked nationally to influence the manifestos of the three main UK political parties (the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats) to enable better lives for people with speech, language, communication and swallowing needs and ensure that they have access to the support that they need.

 

We have produced the following resources for you to use and share with colleagues:

Nations

 

Health and education matters are among the powers devolved to the UK nations. As such, parties that do not stand candidates in England are unlikely to include wording in their manifestos related to these areas, and will instead include them in manifestos for the devolved elections, currently scheduled for 2021. The manifesto asks related to communication access are appropriate throughout the UK.

If you would like any more information, or advice, please contact the RCSLT’s public affairs adviser Peter Just: peter.just@rcslt.org

 

To register to vote visit  www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and complete the short online application before midnight on 26 November.

 

Party Manifestos

Here is the RCSLT’s analysis of the parties’ General Election manifestos.