Pip and Peter Garside to Step Down as Trustees

Pip and Peter Garside to Step Down as Trustees

Peter and I started the charity Speak With IT In 2011 with 8 other people with aphasia and their partners, all living in Yorkshire. We were all very aware of how hard life can be when the support of the NHS Speech & Language support ends after a few months. You are left with little or no speech and no more help. Peter, who had a stroke in 2000 suffered from aphasia. Using React 2 initially and with the help of two neighbours in our village who supported him once a week to use the program his speech really improved.

Speak With IT gives people with aphasia the opportunity to improve their speech in the comfort of their own homes and with the support of a trained Speak With IT volunteer using the latest aphasia software programs. The visits enable the volunteer and the person with aphasia to build a friendship and where conversation can be practised in a relaxed atmosphere.

Our proudest moment was when Speak With IT was launched at Headingly Stadium in 2012 by Harry Gration. Over 80 people attended and included Speech & Language Therapists from York, Leeds and Sheffield and many existing clients and their partners. All 10 Trustees were present. One Trustee who had aphasia gave a Powerpoint presentation about life after stroke which was very inspiring and Peter, as Chairman, welcomed everyone, speaking very clearly.

We will miss being part of a team and hearing about the successful outcome of various exciting projects. Any new trustee must be aware of the difference that this charity is making to the lives of people all over Yorkshire and why it needs to grow to help even more people.

We would say to everyone interested in the work of Speak With IT – Make yourself familiar with the five year Big Cactus Research Project (A research study to assess the Clinical and cost effectiveness of Aphasia Computer Therapy versus Usual Speech & Language Therapy) carried out by Sheffield University which ended in June 2018. This study proved that computer therapy can help people with mild or moderate aphasia to find words. A video and the booklet about the Cactus project can be found on the internet – “Big CACTUS Final Results”.

It has been very pleasing to witness the growth of Speak With IT since 2012. It was a great achievement to gain a Big Lottery grant in 2017 which means we now have an office in Wakefield and a Charity Manager plus two members of staff, Caron and Hattie, to take the Charity forward.

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