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Things look a little different around here. We've changed our name and our brand to ensure that we can support more children and their families with learning to talk and use words. In October 2022, I CAN became Speech and Language UK. Why? Our research showed that by changing our name we could reach more people who need us and, vitally, raise more money to support them.
Why are you changing your name?
In 2021-22, we directly helped 65,000 children and young people. But 1.7 million children and young people are facing challenges with talking and understanding words. So, we need to reach a huge number of children, families and schools and nurseries who don’t know about what we can offer. As well as funders and politicians who can help us to get support to children who need it. Families and educators as well as our supporters told us that our name didn’t make it clear what we offer, so we decided we had to make a change. One person told us that every time she wanted to recommend us to someone else, she had to google ‘speech help charity’ as she couldn’t remember our name.
Are you legally changing your name?
At present, we are keeping I CAN as our legal name, with an operating name of Speech and Language UK. We may officially change our legal name at a later date.
What about the charity’s history?
We are proud of our history, dating back to 1888, when Victorian philanthropists realised that disabled children were being missed out from existing initiatives. While we originally worked with a range of disabled children, we have been focused on children with speech and language challenges for many years. It makes sense to have a name and a brand that clearly communicates to people what we do now. We are looking at what more we can do to celebrate our 135 years of work and our founders’ incredible vision.
Is this the best use of the charity’s money?
It is fundamental to our mission that people can find us when they need us. If people can’t find us who need us, we will not be able to achieve our vision of every child being able to face the future with confidence. If potential partners and funders don’t know what we do, we won’t attract the support we need to keep changing young lives. So, we think it’s a really important part of our work. We’ve spent less than 1% of our income on this over 2 years and our Senior Management Team and volunteer Trustees looked carefully at plans to make sure it was value for money. We are convinced that we will be able to do more and reach far more children and young people with this new name and brand.
Why does your name not mention children?
We tried and tested with focus groups some names that did mention children but none of them worked very well. We have added a strapline of ‘changing young lives’ and we have made sure that our visual design conveys to people that we work with children and young people rather than adults.
Will you only operate in the UK?
Our focus will always be in the UK because our charity’s aims are about children and young people in the UK. But we are interested in looking at what we can do in other countries, especially in English-speaking countries that don’t have organisations that provide similar support to us.
Will you do the same things?
We aren’t going to stop doing any of the brilliant and innovative work we do now but we are going to talk about it differently. If we can describe what we do and who we support in better ways, then we can reach more people who need us and more people will support us to continue our work.
Part of our rebrand has been about making it clearer what we do. We provide tools and training to schools and nurseries; we give advice and guidance to families and young people and we put pressure on politicians. We will continue to help children with speech and language challenges to gain a range of skills, including learning to talk and understand words and communicate more widely, including using augmentative and alternative communication. We have recently worked on a research study using a total communication approach in one of our schools and we will be publishing the results of that very soon.
Are your email addresses changing?
Yes, they are. If you send emails using our old emails addresses, they will still reach the intended recipient. New email formats are as follows:
Speech and Language UK staff – email@example.com
Dawn House – firstname.lastname@example.org
Meath – email@example.com
How does this impact children you work with?
This will have no impact on the children or families that we already work with. Through our rebrand, we hope to reach more children and families who need our support.
Are you an organisation or professional body?
No, we are a charity focused on giving skills to children and young people with speech and language challenges. The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists is the professional body for speech and language therapists. We work in partnership with the Royal College and we recommend them to anyone looking at a career in speech and language therapy.
Do you offer speech and language therapy?
We do offer speech and language therapy in our schools and some of our projects but not directly to the general public. Parents and professionals who are concerned about a child can contact our enquiry service and speak to a speech and language therapist for general advice and support, including how to find a Speech and Language Therapist.
Do I need to change my direct debit?
As your direct debit will still be going into the same account you will not need to change your direct debit.
When paying in money, who do I make the cheque payable to?
Please make your cheque payable to Speech and Language UK, however, our bank will also accept cheques made out to I CAN.
I left a gift in my Will to I CAN. Do I need to change my Will to include the new charity name?
We would recommend that you change your Will to include the new charity name next time you update it. If you cannot do this, please don’t worry as we are still the same organisation and so will still be eligible for your gift.
Will I have to change my online fundraising page? If not, will the money still come to you?
Please change your fundraising page as soon as possible as whilst the money would still come to us we are no longer using I CAN as our name so this could be confusing to supporters.
I still have I CAN branded materials and t-shirts, am I still allowed to use these?
We would love you to start wearing our new brand as soon as possible. Please contact the fundraising team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you changing the type of support you offer children and their families?
Our name has changed but not the great work we do across our projects, schools and through our work with parents and families.
Will Talking Point still be available?
The resources that were previously available on the Talking Point section of our old website, can be found under our Information and Support section.
Can you help me find a speech and language therapist?
We recommend that you go to local NHS services, though services are currently far too stretched. We can help you find your local NHS services if you get in touch with our enquiry service. If you are looking for a private therapist, we recommend the Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Private Practice.
Is the enquiry service still available and free?
Yes. We know that families really value the advice we give and we have managed to extend the hours of the service in the last two years thanks to very generous donations. Thanks to everyone who has supported us. You can book an appointment here.
What speech and language conditions do you support/provide guidance on?
We currently have factsheets about a range of different types of speech and language difficulties which you can find here. This includes stammering, ‘quiet‘ children/selective mutism, verbal dyspraxia and speech sounds as well as Developmental Language Disorder.
Our schools, Dawn House and Meath, support children and young people who have a range of co-occurring conditions such as selective mutism and autism.
There are organisations with more in-depth knowledge of some speech and language challenges that we recommend. For example SMIRA for selective mutism, the British Stammering Association for stammering and the Dyspraxia Foundation for verbal dyspraxia. We work with a range of other specialist organisations through the Communication Consortium – you can see the full list of members here.
Have young people and families been involved in this decision?
Yes, we asked a wide range of people – including people who have used our services and people who have never heard of us – about our current brand. We then ran in-depth focus groups and interviews with families and with educational professionals to get more information about what kind of language we should use to describe the children and young people we help and what we do. Thank you to everyone who has taken part in surveys, focus groups and interviews in the last year.
Will I need new materials?
No, you can use all the existing materials you have. Due to the cost of producing our resources, we will be using up the existing stock that we currently have and we will then produce materials using our new brand and design.
How does this change affect running Talk Boost interventions?
No. Our Talk Boost interventions are based on evidence collected over many years. But we hope that by explaining who we are and what we do better more children will be able to use these life-changing programmes.
Has the content of your products changed?
No, none of the content relating to speech and language in our programmes has changed. Over time they look different as we update our stock but the content will stay the same.
I have a training certificate, will I need a new one?
No, you do not need a new training certificate, your existing certificate is still valid.
What about Dawn House and Meath schools?
Our name has changed but not the great work we do in our two schools. Dawn House and Meath have new refreshed logos, and will be known as a Speech and Language UK school. Nothing changes operationally or in terms of governance of the two schools.
Do I need to buy a new uniform?
Even though we have a new and refreshed logo, we will not be making any changes to school uniform in the immediate future. We know that would be ridiculous during a cost-of-living crisis. We will start making changes to signs in schools and documents we send to you, but we will consult parents fully before making any changes to uniforms.
Will this impact your model and how we work with you?
This won’t change how we run our current projects and doesn’t affect any existing agreements we have with schools, settings or local authorities or our academic partners
Why do you have speech in your name when you don’t provide speech therapy?
When we spoke to families and people who work with children, they told us ‘speech and language’ was a term they could understand and relate to. Speech and language therapists do an amazing job but they are part of a wider network of support for children who have speech and language challenges. At Speech and Language UK we work with everyone who works to support children including their families and young people themselves. For more information about speech and language therapy you can visit The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.
If you have any further questions about our name change, please do contact us at email@example.com.
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