Pat and Julie

Free speech confidence sessions for local people with Parkinson's to launch in Newcastle


A new series of free speech and language sessions for people living with Parkinson’s in and around Northumberland, Tyneside and Durham will start from 30 September.  

The 'Speech Confidence' classes will be run on a monthly basis by final-year speech and language therapy students from Newcastle University in conjunction with Parkinson's UK. 

The sessions, which will be held at the university's student union building on King’s Walk will involve practicing talking exercises, group activities and learning techniques to build voice volume and clarity – helping people with Parkinson's overcome symptoms that can cause quiet or slurred speech. 
One in 500 people in UK have Parkinson's, a progressive neurological condition that can leave people struggling to walk, speak and sleep.

Vivienne Rogerson, Area Development Manager at Parkinson's UK, said: "The symptoms of Parkinson's mean that many people living with the condition find it difficult to speak as loudly as they used to, convey emotion when they speak, and even physically form the words they are trying to pronounce. Speech and language therapy is proven to help people with the condition improve their speech – helping communication and easing feelings of isolation and loneliness.

"It's fantastic that students from the university are working with us to help deliver this much-needed support in the community for free and I would encourage anyone with the condition – at any age and any stage – to book a place.

"These sessions are run in a practical, fun and informal way and, although they are monthly, people can learn tricks and techniques that they can take away and practice at home in their own time to maintain their abilities."

The first Speech Confidence session will be held from 10.30am until 12noon on Saturday (30 September) at the Newcastle University Students' Union. Sessions will then be held on the second Saturday of each month until March 2018.

To find out more, or to book a place, contact Vivienne Rogerson on 0300 123 3670 or [email protected].