Part of our Rally challenge is fundraising for Cool Earth, an NGO that works with the indigenous community within rainforests, helping them to find alternative livelihoods to deforestation, whilst protecting the precious habitat. The first £500 all Rally racers raise will go to Cool Earth; but then as Khane Diem, we wanted to think more about the worthy cause we will be raising awareness and funds for. Thom’s background is in advertising and online media (selling people things they don’t need) and my background is working with children and young adults with special needs; no need to coin toss on who gives more back to society.
Most children and young adults I work with have Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN). This is a broad umbrella term for difficulties in listening, understanding and communicating with others. Difficulties can happen in childhood or adulthood and can be part of another condition such as Autism.
Around 10% of children have SLCN, this affects how they talk to their families, make friends and learn at school. Without timely and appropriate help, this will have a lifelong impact; 60% of young offenders have SLCN. We’ve decided to nominate Afasic as the charity which Khane Diem will be fundraising for; primarily because of the important work they do. The founder Margaret Greene, a Speech and Language Therapist saw the dire provision available for children and their families, which resulted in many children and families left with inadequate support in a time of poor understanding of SLCN.
Afasic was set up in 1968, and have been working with children and parents ever since. They worked tirelessly during the Hello Campaign 2011, in a coalition with 35 other partners to raise awareness of how important good communication skills are, they are actively involved in highlighting the worrying proposals in the latest proposed children and families bill which could make accessing Speech and Language Therapy Services more difficult for children and their families, and at a grassroots level – they have provided quality free to low-cost speech and language resources available to all, via their website. The number of people they have reached and helped over the decades is astounding; I happily signpost families to Afasic for quality information and resources. The funding raised will help to continue the vital work Afasic do.
Over the next few months, we will be setting up fundraising events to spread the word of Afasic. Take a look at our fundraising page and please give generously.