Happy Talk Appeal
What is the Happy Talk Appeal?
Portland Academy is a Secondary Special School for 11-19 year olds with severe and profound multiple learning disabilities. Many of the students rely upon Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC). The term AAC is used to describe different methods that can be used to help people with disabilities communicate with others. As the term suggests, these methods can be used as an alternative to speech or to supplement it. AAC can include gesture, body language and signing systems such as Makaton. It also includes the use of symbol picture books, objects and low and high technology communication aids.
Our Happy Talk Appeal was launched in February 2011 to help us raise funds to purchase high technology communication aids for students who struggle to talk to others. These vary in cost from £1,000 through to £13,000!
To date we have raised £20,278. This money has been used to purchase communication aids for 4 students. We continue to need to raise funds as there is an increasing need for such devices.
We have raised the money is various ways, including:
- A grant from the Big Lottery Fund
- £5000 donation from Sopra Group, based at Doxford International Business Park
- Donations of varying amounts from individuals
- Social evenings
- Selling school photographs
- Cake sales at local businesses (T-mobile at Doxford Technology Park) and schools (St Roberts of Newminster) and within Portland Academy
- Sponsored events, such as the Sunderland 10k.
Our most recent social evening was in September. Local up and coming comedian, Lost Voice Guy, performed at the event. He was well received and, as well as making us laugh a lot, he helped raise the awareness of how important communication aids are and highlighted the positive impact they can have on a person’s life.
Thank you to everyone who has supported the appeal so far. We are overwhelmed by the generosity of people in difficult financial times. You have helped to change the lives of several students for the better!
If would like to support the appeal in any way, please contact the Friends at Portland group on 0191 5536050.