At the last Giving Voice AGM meeting the new committee members were voted in. We have since had a couple of meetings to discuss our roles and plan exciting events for the coming year. We are incredibly lucky this year to have a fairly large committee with a few shared roles, which means there are more heads to generate great and innovative ideas to ensure that the next year with Giving Voice is the best it can be! So without further ado, it must be time to introduce ourselves…
President – Ali Boston
G’day! I’m Ali and I’m President of the Giving Voice Society for this year. I’m responsible for making sure the Committee runs smoothly and that collectively we work hard for our members. It’s a real privilege to build on the excellent work of the previous Committee! This year we are looking outward to make sure that we reach even more people in order to spread the word about the crucial work that Speech and Language Therapists do to make a positive difference to people’s lives. If, like us, you think Speech Therapy gives people dignity and hope, then please join with us to give voice to people with speech, language, communication and swallowing needs.
I am currently training to become a Speech and Language Therapist and about to start my second year of the MSc in Speech and Language Sciences at UCL. My background is in school improvement, so I have a real passion for work which makes a difference for children and young people. I enjoy travelling, cooking (actually mostly eating!) and good coffee (in large cups).
Vice President – Sophie Trevis-Smith
Hi everyone! I’m Sophie and I am the Vice President of the UCLU Giving Voice Society this year! My role is to support Ali and the other committee members with the general running of the society and the organisation of events and campaigns. This year, I am hoping that the Giving Voice Society can continue to raise awareness about the impact that speech, language, communication, eating and drinking needs can have and the ways in which individuals with these needs can be supported. I believe this awareness is vitally important in improving quality of life for individuals with these needs, which is why I support the Giving Voice charity. I am currently training to be a Speech and Language Therapist on the MSc programme at UCL and I am enjoying taking advantage of living in London for the first time (as much as my student budget allows!). I look forward to meeting you all at future events!!
Treasurer – James Eastman
Hey! I’m James and I’ll be Treasurer for the Giving Voice society for the year. My job is just to make sure that we can afford to run all of the cool things that we’ve got planned for the year, and to help everyone else with their roles! I’m really hoping that throughout the course of the year we can help to raise awareness of Speech and Language Therapy and a whole range of communication/swallowing difficulties. So many people I talk to know so little about the different difficulties people can face, so raising awareness of these difficulties, and different things which can help people is a big drive. I also hope that we can get involved with different societies across the University as well, and show how Speech Therapy can work with different disciplines like Medics, Physiotherapy, and Occupational Therapy to really benefit the people we work with.
Outside of the Society I’m quite keen on sports, and spend a lot of my free time (the little that we get at the moment!) playing tennis. I can also usually be found either reading, or watching some new boxsets in some downtime, with ‘Sherlock’ a particular favourite! If there’s anything else you’d like to know, or if you’ve got any ideas for events for next year we’d love to hear from you, so please get in touch! I hope to see you at some of our events soon!
Publicity Officer – Chloe Thomson
Hi all! My name is Chloe and I am one of the Giving Voice Society’s Publicity Officers for this academic year. I am a Year B student on the Speech and Language Sciences MSc course.
My job involves securing sponsorship and fundraising for the society to allow as many events to be ran as possible, as well as publicising those events we do run online and around campus! I think it is so important that we publicise the message from Giving Voice so that communication difficulties and differences are understood far wider than they are currently.
Publicity Officer Designate (Pending Election)- Reanne Coleman
Hello! I’m Reanne, one of two Publicity Officers on the Giving Voice Committee 2016 – 2017. I share the role with Chloe and will mainly be responsible for advertising our events and awareness days on social media platforms, distributing flyers and promoting the society. I hope we can promote the Speech and Language profession to a wider community so that as many people as possible can learn more about the profession, communication difficulties and related topics, whilst having plenty of fun at our events!
Aside from studying most days, evenings and weekends for my Masters (!), I attend various gym classes including Body Combat and Body Vive. My personal interests also include photography and baking.
Communications Secretary – Kim Talbot
I’m Kim and I am joint Communications Secretary with Hollie. Together we will be the ones behind the scenes sending emails, keeping social media up to date and being behind the lens at our events. In my spare time, I am a keen photographer and shoot weddings with my fiancé , so I’m excited to be able to use this skill to capture the great events we will hold in the next year. I also like collecting antique books and shopping for stationery, however I’m not sure that will be particularly useful in this role!
Together we aim to raise awareness of various speech, language, communication and swallowing needs, as well as promoting the great work that Speech and Language Therapists do with these individuals: we hope you will join us in this journey, and enjoy the many fun events we have planned along the way.
Communications Secretary Designate (Pending Election) – Hollie St John Wright
I’m Hollie, and I’m joint Communications Sec with Kim. We’ll be the ones emailing you (very exciting!) updates about membership and events, campaigning on social media, and working behind the scenes to take meeting minutes and document Giving Voice events.
Communicating on a daily basis is something so many of us take for granted – it is for this reason that I joined Giving Voice. To me, it is so important raise awareness and understanding about speech, language and communication needs and their impact outside our ‘speech and language therapy bubble’, and I really hope this is something we achieve this year. I like trying new things and pushing myself beyond my comfort zone, and I hope this is something we can incorporate into campaigning this year. If you have any suggestions (the scarier the better of course…), please send them our way!
Social Secretary – Mahie Sumathipala
My name is Mahie Sumathipala and I am a second year Speech and Language Therapy MSc student. As social secretary for Giving Voice, it is my responsibility to collectively organise social events in order to raise awareness about communication difficulties.
My hopes for the coming year is to provide an inclusive and educational platform in which various individuals, regardless of their career paths, are able to learn more about children and adults with speech, language and communication difficulties. In addition, these events will give individuals with communication difficulties an opportunity to share their stories
Social Secretary – Bridget Yu
Hi everyone! I’m Bridget, an undergraduate psychology and languages sciences student. I’m really happy to be a social secretary in giving voice society this year. Thanks to our committee members last year, we’ve had lots of fun last year.
This year, we’ll continue to do our best and bring you the best experience. We look forward to see you all in our coming events!
Social Secretary Designate (Pending Election) – Abbi Songhurst
I’m Abbi and I will be a social sec on the Giving Voice society this year. I decided to join the society as I wanted to play an active role in promoting the integral work of speech and language therapy and to raise awareness of the various conditions that can affect speech, language, communication and swallowing. It amazes me how many people do not know what a speech and language therapist is or think that we run elocution lessons!
I hope that throughout the year, I can be part of an outreaching society that make an impact in raising awareness, promoting SLT and raising money for various charities working with those with speech, language and communication needs. Hope to see you all join the society and at all our events this year!
We are grateful to have three enthusiastic people who are currently acting as supporting volunteers for the Communications Secretary, Social Secretary and Publicity Officer. They will be helping us over the summer in generating ideas for the next year but, once memberships are open, an official Giving Voice election will be held to make their roles formal. If you are on our mailing list, you will receive an email about this election at the start of first term.
Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any ideas for the coming year or any further questions. Alternatively feel free to leave a comment below.
We look forward to meeting you all!
UCL Giving Voice Committee