Tuesday, 28 September 2010

The wonders of Twitter - Nicola Matthews, Marketing Manager

A little while ago my director set up a twitter account for the Trust and asked me to look after it. Up until then I was completely faithful to facebook and hadn't even looked at twitter so it took me a little while to get used to it get used to a whole new language.

Now, I log on to twitter nearly everyday and think it's pretty incredible. Not only is it a great way to share information about the Trust (albeit in very short bite sized chunks) but I can also find out what our consortium members are up to, view helpful tips and sometimes rants from parents, see whats going on with young people who have communication difficulties and check out the odd celebrity!

I've also just found out about a new website, through the Childrens Trust Tadworth ( @childrens_trust) who are professional tweeters, that you can track how many times your tweet appears on someone else page, amazing! We've come up over 1,500 times in the last couple of weeks.

It is a incredibly powerful tool that I hope will be very useful to spreading our message, especially when it comes to the National Year of Speech, Language and Communication. So please have a look at our twitter page, @Comm_nTrust, and here's a few of my favourite tweeters:


Friday, 24 September 2010

Who needs awards - Cara Evans, Operations Director

So I was all prepared to be enjoying a bacon sandwich and drinking a can of coke to nurse my hangover this morning after celebrating our win at the Third Sector Excellence Awards last night for Charity Partnership, but it wasn’t meant to be.

As I listened to the rest of the winners being announced it got me to thinking. Who needs awards, we know what we have achieved; we have brought many charities together, some of which previously would not have spoken to each other, we are shared costs, brought in an extra million pounds into the sector, over 60% of which has been distributed to the existing charities, raised the profile of the cause, proved that the third sector can collaborate effectively and most importantly made a different to families and children.

I was humbled by the words of the lifetime achievement award winner - the third sector looks at what the needs are and what we can do to help. That is why we do what we do, who needs awards, (but it would have been nice to win one!).

Monday, 13 September 2010

Learning another language - Andrew Ball, Campaign Director

Somewhat depressingly the summer holidays are over for another year... I’ve just come back from a week in France with my wife and our 2 year old son.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well my A level French (which I’m legally obliged to point out that I failed) got me through – though to be honest it wasn’t as if I was trying to having any meaningful conversations with the locals, just ask for some wine (du vin) some bread (du pain) and some cheese (du Boison).

I’ve often heard Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) described as transporting someone into a foreign country where they don’t know the language – you’re still just as clever but your ability to understand and be understood is severely hampered. I find this a really helpful scenario to relate to this issue - a lot more so than some of the other descriptions the SLCN sector has used in recent times. Making SLCN more easily understood is one of the goals of the national year so if you have any examples of ways that you have achieved this then please do let us know.

I’m fortunate that my son’s ability to communicate appears to be developing typically – in fact I think he’s talking and understanding a lot more than he should do for his age (but that’s probably more a case of me showing early signs of being a pushy parent!). Whilst in France he learnt to say merci (thank you) and croissant (croissant) so at least if he follows in my footsteps and fails his French A level then he won’t go hungry.