Cambridgeshire speech and language therapists praised for their work supporting children’s communication

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CAMBRIDGESHIRE Community Services NHS Trust’s speech and language therapists have been praised for their work supporting children with communication needs at the Shine a Light 2011 Hello campaign awards.

Run by The Communication Trust and Pearson Assessment, the Shine a Light awards are the flagship initiative of the Hello campaign during the national year of communication. At the recent awards hosted by Vanessa Feltz, the team was highly commended in the ‘Hello Campaign Award’ category.

Philippa Grant, speech and language therapist, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, said: “It is wonderful news to be highly commended for our work at the Shine a Light Awards. We are really proud of our achievements including running a ‘Trolley Challenge’ in local supermarkets, a poster competition for children with speech, language and communication needs and ‘No Telly Tuesday’ which involved parents keeping the television turned off for a whole day to raise awareness of the importance of communication at home.”

Shine a Light was designed to honour individuals, teams, projects, communication friendly settings and communities that have demonstrated excellence in supporting the needs of all children and young people’s communication, including those with speech, language and communication needs.

Anita Kerwin-Nye, Director of The Communication Trust, said: “Well done to the Trust’s speech and language therapists for being highly commended for their exceptional work supporting children’s communication skills. The judging panel were impressed with their hard work and dedication. We will be sharing their examples to improve practice in 2012, as part of the ongoing legacy of the Hello campaign.”

Chris Hall, Managing Director of Pearson Assessment who sponsored the Shine a Light awards, said: “The Shine a Light awards have truly shown the outstanding practice being carried out by dedicated teams like Philippa’s. We have been very impressed with their work and congratulate them on all their achievements.

“Working with The Communication Trust to host these awards and being part of the national Hello campaign has been an incredible experience, which has tapped into our company ethos to support professionals and make a difference to their day to day practice. We hope the success of the year and all the outstanding practice, which has shone through these awards, continues into 2012 and beyond.”

Hello is a campaign to make children and young people’s communication development a priority in homes, nurseries and schools across the country. Applications came in from a range of settings, professionals and individuals, who work directly with children or who are responsible for commissioning children’s services, as well as parents and young people.

Forty judges representing some of the biggest voices in speech, language and communication were involved in Shine a Light. This included Dame Claire Tickell, who recently led a Government review of the Early Years Foundation Stage, Professor Neil Mercer from the University of Cambridge, Professor Geoff Lindsay of the University of Warwick, and Jean Gross, England’s Communication Champion for children.

To find out more about the winners and runners up of Shine a Light, visit www.hello.org.uk