21 October 2020

The winner of the 2019 competition holds his trophy

Voice Box Cymru is now open for entries from Wales’ primary schools to showcase their funniest joke and look to take 2020 crown.

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) has begun its search for its next Voice Box Cymru champion after the success of its inaugural 2019 competition. Aimed at primary-school aged children, the competition focuses on how communication is so important, but also fun.

The 2019 competition was won by 8-year-old Leo Jones from Llangors Church in Wales School in Brecon, who impressed the judges with his joke about an inflatable boy in an inflatable school, who popped everything he could find and let the school down.

Voice Box Cymru helps shapes how children and young people share stories and demonstrates the work that speech and language therapists do here in Wales in making such a positive difference to children and young people.

Dr Alison Stroud, head of Wales for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, said: “We’re really excited to again be welcoming entries from the primary schools and special schools of Wales for Voice Box Cymru 2020. We had an incredible time this year meeting the finalists and I’m looking forward to seeing what next year’s final has to bring.

“All children need help to develop their skills to communicate, not only at home, but also in school. This is why, as an organisation, we want to make sure that children see the fun in speech and language, finding the confidence to be able to share their own voice.”

The RCSLT has teamed up with the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) Cymru and Parentkind to hold the contest, which reminds people that all children need support to be confident with their communication skills and some need specialist help to speak and/or understand what is being said to them.

More than 700 schoolchildren, aged between five and 11 years-old, took part in Voice Box Cymru 2019 and 10 were selected from primary, as well as special schools from across Wales to be in the final at the Pierhead Building.

Notes to editor

The event was launched in Northern Ireland in 2011 where mainstream and special schools were invited to hold Voice Box joke-telling competitions. The RCSLT teamed up with The Communication Trust to launch Voice Box in England, Wales and Scotland in 2013.

More than 10% of children and young people have long term speech, language and communication needs which create barriers to communication or learning in everyday life. This includes 7.6% of children who start school with developmental language disorder – a condition where children have problems understanding or using spoken language, with no obvious reason for these difficulties – and 2.3% who have difficulties associated with another condition, such as autism or hearing impairment.

About the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) is the professional body for speech and language therapists in the UK, representing over 17,000 members. It facilitates and promotes research into the field of speech and language therapy – the care for individuals with communication, swallowing, eating and drinking difficulties. It promotes better education and training of speech and language therapists and is responsible for setting and maintaining high standards in education, clinical practice and ethical conduct.