Happy Easter!

Ahh - a sigh of relief...Spring is here!! How relieved is everyone feeling?!... Lighter evenings, warmer days, and lockdown is easing off!! 

Let's give a warm welcome to Firle!

Say aphasia have needed an extra pair of helping hands lately, and so we are very please to welcome Firle. She already has so many great ideas for how we can further support people with aphasia, and we cannot wait to start implementing them!

Hello Everyone.

My name is Firle Beckley. 

I am an independent speech and language therapist and am writing up my PhD at University College London (UCL).

I am really excited to start working with SayAphasia part-time.

Here is a bit about me:

  • I live in Eastbourne with my husband and two children

  • I have been a speech and language therapist since 2003

  • I am passionate about helping people to have better conversations with aphasia and am a core member of the Better Conversations Research Lab at UCL.

  • Coffee, dark chocolate, running and Grey’s Anatomy reruns on TV (don’t judge!) are currently keeping me sane 

I am looking forward to helping run the Eastbourne Drop-In group when it restarts. 

Until then you may see me at the Friday Zoom Meetings.

Look forward to meeting you all very soon. 

If you want to find out more about me you can always look here:

Twitter: @Firleb

My website (currently being updated): https://firleb.wordpress.com/

The Art Of Conversation with Aphasia

 Illustration by Nikki Hafter

The Art of Conversation with Aphasia (ACA funded by University College London Innovation and Enterprise)

We have also been busy co-designing a new course called “The Art of Conversation with Aphasia”. SayAphasia were part of the design team with The De La Warr Pavilion (a cultural centre in Bexhill-on-Sea) and the Better Conversations Lab at UCL

ACA is an 8 week course that combines 3 ingredients : the lived experience of aphasia, knowledge about conversation and art. The overall aim is to support people with aphasia, and a partner of their choice, to have better conversations and re-connect with each other and their community.

SayAphasia’s knowledge about living with aphasia helped shape the course design and content. The 8 week zoom course was then designed and led by Firle Beckley (speech and language therapist) and Nikki Hafter (art facilitator).

We are currently looking at grants to fund running this course again. If you’d like to know more check out the ACA website here: https://conversationwithaphasia.wordpress.com/ or get in touch with us!

This has been a wonderful project to work on, and we have now created a workshop that teaches new ways to help family members and people with aphasia to understand each other better when communicating.

Learn more about this project here

The Brighton Half Marathon 27th June

We are so pleased to say that we have 25 people signed up to run the half marathon for Say Aphasia! However, we need 25 more people to sign up!

Why do we need 50 people, you ask? Well, when we buy 50 places from the Brighton Half Marathon, we get a marquee set up near the finish line. So when our runners cross the finish line, everyone can celebrate together! We love bringing people together, so we thought this would be a lovely addition for our runners.

want to run with us?

Speech Therapy project

Over the last year we have been receiving funds to run online speech therapy.

People who access our service are either on a very long waitlist to receive speech therapy through the NHS, or the were discharged from hospital without a referral. Unfortunately, but understandably the virus has taken priority, and so we are helping to pick up the backlog of people waiting to receive therapy.

Waiting a long time for speech therapy after acquiring aphasia increases the amount of time which the person with aphasia feels confused, frustrated and often sad and lonely

We have had such positive feedback from this project! You can read the latest letter below.

When Caroline was discharged from hospital her speech was noticeably damaged; she had difficulty in talking logically, could hardly read and felt isolated and confused. The hospital staff did what they could - in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic - to provide limited and basic help and upon her release was referred to their Speech and Language Therapy Team ( SLT ).

We were advised that because of other NHS priorities that the waiting list for any contact and help from the NHS SLT service was currently at least 3 months away. This seems a long period of time before receiving specialist help to a serious health complaint that surely needed prompt attention.

I requested Say Aphasia's Information Pack and it was as if a weight had been lifted from our shoulders such was the impact it made on us. Here were people who had established and were successfully managing a National Charity who had themselves suffered from this debilitating disease. They had fought back against it to create a Charity acknowledged for competence, dynamism and professionalism overlaid with a delightful sense of humour and hope.

I contacted Colin who immediately put me at my ease and understood the concerns I was harbouring. He told me that "Say Aphasia" was in a position to assist her in the most positive way possible by offering a free course of six sessions with a highly recommended S&L therapist.

We were naturally delighted to accept this offer and shortly after we were introduced to Heidi who told us that she would be pleased to provide her experience and skills to us through the ZOOM on line format.

Caroline is improving and will do so even more once the pandemic is over and she can engage again with other people in normal human discourse. In particular we cannot wait to join the charity's weekly drop-in meetings in nearby Chichester

Would you like to donate?

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We want to hear from you!

Please let us know if you have any ideas or any feedback:

* for how we can help you with your aphasia

* how we can fundraise

* how we can help your family member with aphasia

Call Colin on 07796143118

Email us [email protected]