Giving Voice

Giving Voice

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.

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.

Resources

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.

Download the Giving Voice campaign delivery toolkit (PDF)

Local influencing

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.

Factsheets

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

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 from badges and pens to booklets and balloons.

Visit the RCSLT shop

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.

Download the local activity fund application form (Word)

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.

Stammering awareness poster

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!

Voicebox 2019-2020

We’re very sorry to have made the decision to cancel this year’s Voice Box Final due to take place on 13 May 2020. We understand that finalists will be disappointed, but our priority has to be ensuring everyone’s safety.

We would still like to celebrate your success in reaching the final by sending out a certificate and some prizes in due course.

If you have any queries or questions, please get in touch via rsvp@rcslt.org

Wishing you safety and good health.

Storytelling project

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.

Project aims

  • 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.

Get involved

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

The Giving Voice Awards will not take place in 2020.

Follow the team on Twitter for updates on the campaign – @GivingVoiceUK

Awareness-raising events

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:

2020

February

RCSLT awareness event resources – February 2020

March

RCSLT awareness event resources – March 2020

April

RCSLT awareness event resources – April 2020

May

RCSLT awareness event resources – May 2020

June

RCSLT awareness event resources – June 2020

July

RCSLT awareness event resources – July 2020

September

RCSLT awareness event resources – September 2020

October

RCSLT awareness event resources – October 2020

Past events

2019

September

RCSLT awareness event resources – September 

November

RCSLT awareness events resources – November 2019

December

RCSLT awareness events – December 2019

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.

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