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.
We aim 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. It describes 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, our collective activity contributes towards an increased 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 RCSLT and we hope it marks the start of an exciting journey for you too.
These pages are full of useful resources to help you get involved.
Giving Voice toolkit
This toolkit is designed to support RCSLT members who want to participate in Giving Voice campaigning. Contact us if you need more training or assistance after reading the toolkit.
Our local influencing pages provide resources to help you to 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.
Our factsheets include case studies and peoples’ stories showing how speech and language therapy changes lives.
View and download our speech and language therapy factsheets
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 from badges and pens to booklets and balloons.
Giving Voice local activity fund
To encourage members to engage in the Giving Voice campaign, the RCSLT created a local activity fund. Up to £200 from this fund will be awarded each quarter to a maximum of 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 will help a selection of the most ambitious, creative and innovative ideas to get off the ground.
The RCSLT encourages its members to plan Giving Voice activities that are low or no cost. Many services and student groups have managed this to great effect.
If you wish to offset any of the £200 against Giving Voice merchandise, complete the Giving Voice merchandise form. Please send it back with the completed local activity fund application.
Using the Giving Voice logo
You can download and use these Giving Voice logos on material produced for your campaign:
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 a poster 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.
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!
The RCSLT continuously reviews the way it puts speech and language therapists at the heart of its activity. This is why we have undertaken an exciting UK-wide video project, which celebrates and highlights the valuable work you do.
Together we can showcase how speech and language therapists support and transform the lives of people with communication and/or swallowing difficulties. Join us and be part of this amazing journey.
The project is aimed at the public, decision makers, colleagues, the media and politicians.
- Provide a complete 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.
This project has been designed to enable partnership working. Together we can co-produce a powerful resource for 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 want to get involved, capture stories on video and send them to us.
Please send videos with a signed copy of the consent form (Word) so we can help promote your work.
View and download the toolkit to get started:
Or get in touch with the team if you have more questions.
Watch the videos
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
RCSLT Honours open soon
Last updated: 18 February 2021
Nominations will open soon for the annual RCSLT Honours and Giving Voice Awards, which acknowledge the achievements of those who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to speech and language therapy.
Watch for updates in our enewsletter and follow the team on Twitter for updates on the campaign – @GivingVoiceUK
There are a number of awareness events that are relevant to people with communication and swallowing needs. If you are interested in promoting how speech and language therapy transforms lives in these areas, RCSLT has a range of resources to support your campaigning and influencing.
Please see our resource directory:
Material for MPs
These materials are designed for MPs.
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:
- Whether you’ve got five minutes to spare or half an hour, here’s a toolkit on how to engage with candidates to make the most of your available time with them.
- Here is a summary of the RCSLT’s policy that we’re contacting all the main parties with. For more details, see our full policy asks document.
- We’ve prepared this template letter for you to use when writing to your prospective MP asking them to support those with communication or swallowing needs.
- If you have time to meet with candidates, we can supply you with an influencing toolkit. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy.
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: email@example.com
To register to vote visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and complete the short online application before midnight on 26 November.