Since its establishment in 2010, Sarah Buckley Therapies has had the sole aim of providing as much targeted, high-quality, speech and language therapy to as many children and young people as possible. This has mainly been by providing our services to schools, but in 2017, SBT was proud to achieve its long-held ambition of opening an on-site clinic in Bromley.
Since then, our therapists have seen dozens of children in our clinic, providing them with focused one-to-one therapy that they have been unable to obtain through other means. We’ve also expanded the clinic to provide a popular monthly out-of-hours service on Saturdays for those who can’t attend during the week. The feedback has been superb, with surveys telling us that all our clients would be likely or highly likely to recommend the clinic to others.
However, SBT has continued to grow and expand. It now has the most number of therapists it has ever had, providing services to more schools than ever before. We’ve therefore had a difficult choice to make. With even more schools approaching us for services in the 2019-2020 academic year, even once we recruit more therapists, we still won’t be able to meet those schools’ needs, as well as provide a clinic service.
Unfortunately, that means we’ve had to temporarily suspend our clinic service until further notice. This is obviously disappointing to us, but at the moment, in order to provide the most effective service to the most number of children with speech and communication difficulties, we need to focus all our resources on schools.
It remains our ambition to offer a clinic service again, as soon as possible, and we will provide updates through our web site, newsletter, social media and other means, as soon as that becomes an option for us. We’ve loved working with all our clients and we hope to work with them and many others in the near future.
SBT has been delighted to have Alison Yildirok with us for the past month. Alison is a first-year master’s student in speech-language pathology at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She wrote to us in September last year, asking if we would be willing to host her ‘practicum’ placement in the UK.
Alison wanted to get a sense of what it would be like to work and live in London and to immerse herself in its culture and lifestyle. She also wanted to see what if she would like to work as an SLT in the UK when she qualified.
We were delighted to accept her on our student placement programme and our student coordinator, Sophie Hay, was able to organise the necessary permissions for her to work with our therapists in some of our schools.
Alison says: “It has been such a privilege to work at Sarah Buckley Therapies for the past four weeks. I learned so much working alongside this amazing team of clinicians, who have supported and challenged me throughout my placement. I am coming away from this experience with an expanded skillset and stronger clinical instincts that I will carry through to my future practice.”
Sadly (for us!), Alison now to return to Canada to continue her course. Good luck with the rest of your studies, Alison – it’s been a pleasure and an honour to have you here!
Last week, SBT practice manager Sarah Buckley represented the independent speech and language therapy sector at the annual practice educators’ workshop ‘Collaboration and Innovation in Practice Education’, hosted at UCL’s Chandler House.
The only independent speech and language therapist speaking at the event, Sarah gave one of the afternoon presentations: ‘Making student placements work in the private sector.’
During her talk, Sarah explained why independent practices should offer students placements, the differences between NHS and independent placements, and best practice in managing placement schemes. She also highlighted SBT’s student placement offer, which includes:
Other speakers included Jodie Davies from Whittington Health on sharing experiences and professional skills, Nina Bury from Homerton Hospital NHS Trust on providing positive placements, and UCL’s Sarah Nash on multidisciplinary placements in special schools.
SBT student placements
SBT has its own student coordinator, Sophie Hay, and this academic year, Sophie has already organised two student placements:
Gemma, who is on the second year of an MSc at City University, and was with us from September through to April.
Alison, from McGill University in Canada, is currently on a 20-day placement with us until June.
However, they won’t be the last this year, we’re sure!
There are nearly six million people of working age in the UK who are disabled or have a health condition. Overall, the estimated percentage of the population who are disabled is around 19%.
Historically there has been a large gap between the numbers of disabled people employed compared with non-disabled people. In September 2015 the employment rate for non-disabled people was 81% whilst that for disabled people was 46% – giving an ‘employment gap’ of around 35%.
The Disability Confident scheme is designed to encourage employers to recruit and retain disabled people and those with health conditions and replaces the previous Two Ticks Positive About Disabled People scheme.
As Disability Confident Committed employers, we:
Ensure our recruitment process is inclusive and accessible
Communicate and promote vacancies
Offer interviews to disabled people
Anticipate and provide reasonable adjustments as required
Support any existing employees who acquire a disability or long-term health condition, enabling them to stay in work
Provide at least one activity that will make a difference for disabled people.
SBT has already achieved all these aims, but ‘committed’ is just the first level of the scheme and we intend to progress to further levels in due course.
Sadly, last week we had to say goodbye to Grace, who’s returning to Ireland. We wish her all the best and hope she’ll be able to come back one day! We miss you already!
Farewell to SBT!
I am sorry to say that my time at SBT has come to an end. The past seven months of working here have been amazing and I can’t think of anywhere else I would rather have started my journey as an NQP. The team are all so supportive and lovely, providing the perfect nurturing environment to progress and develop both professionally and personally.
Looking back, I have learned so much and gained skills that will stand to me in the journey ahead. The standard of supervision has been excellent, and my supervisor, Lucy, helped me reflect and continuously re-evaluate my practise in a supportive and encouraging way, allowing me to grow and be the best I could be.
The team have regular socials and the channels of communication are always open meaning that I really felt part of a strong support network. It made learning and developing as an NQP so much easier and enjoyable!
Thank you so much Sarah for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this fantastic team, I will never forget it.
SBT is going to hold two new Communication Booster training courses in Summer Term. Communication Boosters are designed to provide a combination of information, strategies and top tips to support communication through fun, informative and practical sessions.
This term’s courses are:
1pm-3pm, 3rd May
1pm-3pm, 5th July
Both courses will be held in Bromley Central Library (High Street, Bromley BR1 1EX). The price for each course is £25 per person.
Congratulations to Rebecca on not only obtaining her Pitman Office Manager Diploma but also achieving a distinction.
Rebecca studied a range of modules including Book Keeping, Leadership, Business Communication and Event Management. She’s already been putting her skills to good use at SBT, and is already looking to further training in leadership as her role expands.