Today is my sixth anniversary of working at Sarah Buckley Therapies!
Sarah took me on as a part-time admin assistant in 2013 when the team was just six speech and language therapists. As the team and company expanded, my role within the practice evolved and developed. Diane, who was accounts manager and admin support at the time, showed me the ropes, supporting me in getting to know the ins and outs of the practice.
Sarah has invested and supported me in my career, challenging me to pursue training and studies such as first aid training, a Diploma in Business Administration and most recently I achieved a distinction in an Office Management Diploma!
Personal and professional development is highly regarded within the practice – so much so that it is reflected in the training opportunities offered by SBT and the commitment to supporting SLT students throughout their studies.
In the six years that I have worked at SBT, I have witnessed the company thrive and flourish, leading the way in many aspects of speech and language therapy; Sarah Buckley and every speech and language therapist who has worked at SBT truly has a passion for the profession.
Though I am not a speech therapist myself, I feel devoted to speech and language therapy, the education system and allied health professionals working together to support children and young people.
Thank you Sarah and the SBT team, past and present, for an exceptional six years!
Sarah Buckley Therapies awards first ever Student Grant
Sara Bunker from Canterbury in Kent is to be the first recipient of the Sarah Buckley Therapies’ new Student Grant.
The student, who is studying speech and language therapy at University College London, will receive £1,000, access to free speech and language therapy training for the rest of her course, and a CV workshop to help her with her career when she graduates.
Sarah Buckley presenting Sara Bunker with the £1000 grant.
“We got an email over the summer from the head of the course, Dr Rachel Rees,” said Ms Bunker. “I don’t often read these emails about grants or research, but for some reason I did that day, and I thought why not give it a go? But it was very much a shot in the dark, one that worked out very well. When they called to tell me, I thought it was a cold call and it was a huge surprise to receive it!”
MD Sarah Buckley said she chose Ms Bunker from the more than 60 students who applied from all over the country for the grant because of her dedication to the profession. “Sara’s application demonstrated an excellent understanding of the breadth of our profession as well as huge enthusiasm about working with people with speech, language and communication needs.”
Bromley-based Sarah Buckley Therapies created the grant this year to further the profession of speech and language therapy, with recent cutbacks in funding affecting recruitment around the country. It is believed to be the first such grant of its kind.
“It’s our hope that the grant will encourage and help students to enter the profession,” said Mrs Buckley.
This summer term we have had the pleasure of welcoming two students to our workplace where they have experienced what working in Private Practice looks like.
As part of some Speech and Language Therapy courses, students take part in a block of placement during their studies, in a clinical setting. Over a number of years Sarah Buckley Therapies has offered placement opportunities to students from UCL and City Universities and this year we welcomed Holli, SLT student from City University.
This is what Holli had to say about her experience with us:
“I am thoroughly enjoying my time working with the team at Sarah Buckley Therapies; the ongoing support and enthusiasm has developed my confidence as a soon to qualify Speech and Language Therapist, by increasing my independence and autonomy when delivering therapy and administering assessment. The support and advice I have gained from my Practice Educators has been invaluable, and I feel lucky to have shared my last placement as a student SLT with such an encouraging and collaborative team.”
You may recall that we were undertaking an MSc research project investigating LEGO® -Based Therapy for supporting language skills. The project is now complete and we would like to share our results!
LEGO® -Based Therapy is an intervention that was originally designed to be used with children with autism to develop social competence skills. Our research project investigated adapting this intervention to be used with children with mild-moderate language impairment. In our clinical experience, a LEGO® -Based Therapy approach can be used with language impaired children to target a range of functional communication skills including, but not limited to: resolving conflicts, problem solving, negotiation, organising and sequencing ideas, turn taking, communication initiation, formulation of questions, listening and communication repair skills. As an initial investigation our study selected only one particular aspect of functional communication to examine: repairing conversational breakdown through initiating clarification.
We are undertaking a Masters level research project at City University London. This project is a novel piece of research which looks at whether LEGO® Therapy can support children with language difficulties in repairing communication when it has broken down. Children with speech and language difficulties frequently experience communication breakdowns both in the classroom and in social settings. This may be that the child has not understood something or that the person they are speaking to has not understood him/her. Children who have a range of strategies to repair communication breakdowns are less likely to experience frustration and more likely to successfully clarify something they have not understood in the classroom.
LEGO® Therapy has historically been used with children on the Autistic Spectrum to develop social interaction skills. However, the nature of this therapy lends itself particularly well to developing a range of other language and communication skills, including developing communication repair strategies.
Check back later to find out the results of our research!