10% of children and young people in the UK, a total of 1.4 million, have a speech, language, and communication need (SLCN). However in areas of disadvantage this figure increases, with up to 50% of children starting school speech and language skills that are significantly less developed than those of other children of the same age.
The good news is that theatre makers and creative practitioners are uniquely skilled to make a positive difference to these children’s lives. Our ambition is to connect tens of thousands of children across the country with a carefully designed drama intervention that can help. By supporting theatre makers to partner with schools we want to ensure that our knowledge of communication development can reach as many children as possible.
Speech Bubbles now has a proven track record both in terms of its impact on the children it works with, and the income it is able to generate from schools, funders and local authorities. Working with Spring Impact we’ve developed a franchise model that will support other theatre companies and venues to deliver Speech Bubbles in schools local to them. This academic year Speech Bubbles is being delivered by 10 theatre organisations.
Speech Bubbles Franchisees:
Current Speech Bubbles Franchisees:
Speech Bubbles is one of the most successful programmes I have seen offered in schools. It is carefully and efficiently managed, and every session manages to put a smile on my face. Every school should offer this programme to support the development of communication skills, and now with social franchise, that is becoming a distinct possibility.
Not only is this project proving a great success but it is going to lead to other joined up thinking about how we demonstrate the potentially phenomenal impact of the arts.