Speak Easy

News item posted: 19 June 2017

Turning Point's Peterborough Supported Living Services has enhanced the positive impact of speech and language therapy by helping the people we support to interview potential recruits to the service.

Individuals who are able to make use of the therapy do so with the aim of supporting the recruitment of new staff into the service. People using the service join the interview panel and are asked to consider what qualities they think are most important in a staff member. Existing staff then help the individual to prepare questions to assess these qualities, which are asked at interview.

This provides effective motivation for those using speech and language therapy, and helps to cement their progress by offering the chance to take part in very different types of social interaction. This also enables them to play a much greater part in the community. 

Philip Paterson, who was the first person to take part in the scheme, has benefited hugely, and is now able to take part in many more activities in the community, including going swimming on a weekly basis.

Philip said of the initiative:

"I really enjoy helping the management here to interview potential new staff. It's given me a reason to keep working at speech therapy, and really helped me to get better at speaking to other people in the community."

Derek Wood, Service Manager at Peterborough Supported Living Services, explained further:

"Lifelong learning and personal development is, if anything, even more important for those with learning disabilities than for the general population. But it can be hard to find new opportunities, and to find motivation, particularly for those who may struggle to understand the benefits ahead of time, or who may find it hard to assess their own skills and abilities.  

"It gives us a valuable insight into how potential recruits are likely to interact with people when working in the service. Having trialled the method, we intend to use it whenever suitable in future."