November 2023

Awards for All Scotland

Communication Matters (CM) and Verity Elliott (Creativity in Practice Ltd) worked with the Straight Talking Group at the University of Dundee (c/o Annalu Waller) to apply for funding for a pilot mentoring project.

At the end of 2022 CM found out we were successful in being awarded a grant for £9,850 from Awards for All (National Lottery Community Fund Scotland) for a pilot project for seven AAC users who are members of the Straight Talking Group to complete a Level 1 in Mentoring qualification.

Eight workshops took place in Spring 2023. The project has been completed and we are delighted that all seven participants have achieved the Level 1 Award in Mentoring qualification, plus one additional learner. This pilot project was to help test the approaches, with a view to submitting a larger application dependent on the feedback and findings.

Here is some of the feedback from the learners:

  • “I’d like to try it and help people”
  • “I think it’s good because it teaches doctors what is happening, it is really important and would be great”
  • “I would like to mentor others to help them find confidence and ability to use AAC”
  • “I would like to help because of my experiences as being a new AAC user”
  • “I would like to help”

On 23rd August 2023, we hosted a celebration and consultation event at the University of Dundee. CM Trustees, Helen Whittle, Amy Hanschell and Michelle Paton attended the event. Helen presented the qualification certificates to the learners. The event was a fantastic way to celebrate the achievements of all the learners, and it was also an opportunity to invite a number of professionals and organisations, parents, carers and PAs to begin a consultation for next steps – submitting an application to National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) Scotland for a possible larger project.