Makaton Friendly Award for Whitehaven Respite Unit

Whitehaven Respite Unit at Whitehead has received the Makaton Friendly Award for its outstanding work and good practice in the use of Makaton.

Makaton is a language programme which uses 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.

The Unit, which is a facility for children and young people with learning disabilities, has a full Makaton programme. This includes pictures and symbols throughout the unit, weekly staff meetings dedicating fifteen minutes to signing and handover shifts where staff include Makaton signing and communication packages tailored for each child or young adult. Staff, schools, parents and carers are all working together to make sure that signs and symbols are being used correctly.

This is only the ninth Makaton award to be presented in Northern Ireland. It is the first Makaton Friendly Award to be presented to any respite unit within the five health and social care trusts. Of the other eight awards, seven have been presented to the voluntary sector and one to an adult centre in the Southern Trust. It is also the very first Makaton award given to any department within the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.

Congratulating the team at Whitehaven, Grant Wetherall, Senior Social Worker Northern Health and Social Care Trust and Makaton Regional Tutor, said:
“Well done to Lynne Campbell, Team Manager, Bernie Taylor, Team Leader, and her staff in working so hard to achieve such a high standard and receiving this award. It clearly shows how dedicated the team have been over the past 16 months. It was a pleasure to work with such a committed staff team who were so enthusiastic about the Makaton programme. This can only be good for the children and families you serve.”

Pictured are:
Grant Wetherall, Senior Social Worker Northern Health and Social Care Trust and Makaton Regional Tutor, Lynne Campbell, Team Manager, Bernie Taylor, Team Leader, Marie Roulston , Director of Childrens Services and Judith Brunt, Assistant Director Looked after and Adopted Children.

Page last updated:28 August 2015