Skills for life

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


Special Stars Foundation are a not-for-profit charity supporting people affected by disability in Hull and East Yorkshire. We provide a wide and diverse calendar of inclusive activities for people with disabilities of all ages as well as specialist support, training and advice services for parent carers.

Many of our members have severely impaired speech and communication skills or are non-verbal and would only be able to communicate using sign language. These skills are not taught to parent carers by schools or the local authority, which means that many children and young people who could have learnt to communicate never get the opportunity. This can be isolating for the child and for the parent, cause distress and frustration for the disabled person in not being able to communicate a want or need and massively impact on their education and ability to learn.

Special Stars Foundation want to give parent carers a platform to learn Makaton to implement into their disabled child's life. With funding support we can facilitate, in our in-house training suite in central Hull, intakes of Makaton throughout the year to give disabled children the chance to learn to communicate through sign language.

Being able to communicate is one of the most important skills we need in life. Almost everything we do involves communication; everyday tasks such as learning at school, asking for food and drink, sorting out problems, making friends and having fun. These all rely on our ability to communicate with each other.

Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate. It is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order.

With Makaton, children and adults can communicate straight away using signs and symbols. Many people then drop the signs or symbols naturally at their own pace, as they develop speech.

For those who have experienced the frustration of being unable to communicate meaningfully or effectively, Makaton really can help. Makaton takes away that frustration and enables individuals to connect with other people and the world around them. This opens up all kinds of possibilities.

Makaton uses signs, symbols and speech to help people communicate. Signs are used, with speech, in spoken word order. This helps provide extra clues about what someone is saying. Using signs can help people who have no speech or whose speech is unclear. Using symbols can help people who have limited speech and those who cannot, or prefer not to sign.

Today over 100,000 children and adults, use Makaton symbols and signs. Most people start using Makaton as children then naturally stop using the signs and symbols as they no longer need them. However, some people will need to use Makaton for their whole lives.

We believe that everyone deserves the right to be able to communicate, regardless of whether they have a disability or not and by these courses not being offered in the region and being so expensive to access, these vital courses are unattainable.

With this funding we could provide four intakes of Makaton for Beginners and four intakes of the Makaton Follow-Up Workshop over one year. Both these courses are two full days long each and are accredited and delivered by a tutor from The Makaton Charity. Each course allows twelve delegates and includes course handbooks, materials and certification.

Special Stars Foundation

Moment of Pride

This project is unique as Makaton is not available in Hull and East Yorkshire at all for parent carers to access. This means so many disabled children miss out on the opportunity to learn to communicate which can create educational barriers, cause frustration and isolation

Location: Hull