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Spotlight on projects funded by Sussex Community NHS Charity: 3. Help for special school staff

Date: 22 December 2021

Time: 09:00

SCFT’s official charity, Sussex Community NHS Charity, raises funds in aid of Trust projects that fall outside the scope of core NHS funding. 

It provides grants which improve the health of patients, staff and volunteers; support staff development; improve equipment and facilities for diagnosis and treatment; create patient and family-friendly care environments; and support medical research. 

In the third of five articles published this week to highlight examples of the charity’s work during the past 12 months, we look at its support for the Trust’s Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) team. 

The Trust provided a grant of more than £1,600 to allow the team to deliver ‘enjoying interaction sessions’ to staff from a special school. 

The aim was to help the staff promote the reconnection and positive engagement of pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties who had been in long-term isolation due to COVID-19. 

These restrictions had reduced the pupils’ interactions, stopped a key element of their learning, and limited their access to school staff. 

Over six weeks, the SLT completed one-to-one ‘enjoying interaction sessions’ with pupils while a member of the school staff observed. 

The sessions focussed on reading and responding to the pupil’s unique communication; the importance of pause; developing an increased repertoire of interactions; and evaluating and transferring learned skills. 

“[The outcome of the ‘enjoying interaction sessions’ was] increased confidence with the staff team and clear goals on communication for moving forward,” said Lisa Walker, an SLT. 

“This was measured by a simple rating scale completed by the staff members [before and after] the sessions.” 

If you have an idea for a project at work and would like to find out if our charity can help, visit its website or contact our friendly team on 01273 266040 or by emailing sc-tr.charity@nhs.net

Full details of how you can get involved and support Sussex Community NHS Charity are also available on the website.