Friday, 11 May 2012

Time to say farewell, but not goodbye

Anita Kerwin-Nye, outgoing director
It’s been a fantastic five years as Director of The Communication Trust. To say I am remarkably proud of the organisation and all those involved in our work is an understatement. 

We have been on an incredible journey which culminated in the Hello campaign (national year of communication) last year that reached 70% of UK adults (Metrika 2012) and disseminated 400,000 free resources to families and professionals

We have grown from a small consortium of just a few members to a strong 48-member consortium with vast skills and experience in the field of children’s speech, language and communication.

When I first came to the speech and language sector, parents were battling a system where their child’s speech, language and communication needs were regularly being misunderstood, misinterpreted and in the worst cases, just missed altogether. Now, thanks to our work and that of our partners, the situation is improved, although we still have a long way to go.

We have had a great number of supporters along the way. Not least I CAN, Afasic and BT who realised five years ago, in the wake of the Bercow Review, that no single organisation could reach the children’s workforce effectively. This led to the birth of the Trust and at its core is collaborating with others.

This served us well when we ran the Hello campaign in partnership with Jean Gross, formerly the Government’s Communication Champion for children, and we have extended our networks even further.

To all those people who has supported us since the Trust’s inception or new supporters that joined us through the national year of communication, I pass on my sincere thanks for all you have done – big or small.

As we put the finishing touches to The Communication Trust’s 5-years on Impact Report and Hello evaluation report, it feels like the right time for me to move on.

A strong strategy has been put in place for the next five years and this will be taken forward by the Trust’s very capable staff team. I am sure, like me, you will be keenly keeping an eye on the Trust as it continues to grow and take the issue of speech and language to more and more people.

In the coming months, the Trust will be launching a campaign to place communication at the heart of schools and disseminating best practice in the field of speech and language to the widest possible audience.

Exciting times ahead!

Because communication is everybody’s business, I will be taking it with me into my next ventures and continue championing the cause. So it’s not really goodbye from me, but farewell.

To keep in touch with Anita, you can follow her on Twitter here

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