Congratulations to Stoke Speech and Language Therapists on their ESTEEM nomination

Congratulations to two Opportunity Area-funded projects – Speech, Language and Communication (closing the word gap), and SMILE (Speech, Milestones, Interaction, Learning and Expression) – which have been formally recognised by the Advancing Healthcare ESTEEM awards for their considerable contribution to the COVID-19 response.

By adapting, both projects  have ensured that children, families and settings  continue to have access to high quality support for early communication development.

The recognition is in the light of speech and language therapists’(SLT) work in  adapting the project  from face-to-face sessions to e-learning, to ensure that parents can continue to access valuable resources in working with their children.  The e-learning ranges from topics such as supporting children’s maths language, developing verbs, supporting emotional literacy and helping children with speech sound difficulties. These topics are in response to requests from  schools or areas which SLTs  have identified through their  support to  schools. The project has also created a selection of digital resources to share across the city and which will form a legacy for the project.

The SMILE project was  adapted to operate  as a telephone service. Health Visitors are still referring children where they are concerned about their speech and language development but rather than accessing a weekly face to face group parents have been offered weekly individual calls that go through activities and then are followed up with a selection of on line resources to try at home. Feedback from parents has been positive and the project has received good ‘virtual’ attendance.

Massive congratulations to the whole team and thank you for your hard work!

If you’re interested in the resources, please email the project team at

Additionally, visit their website to find out more here.

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