Fun way to learn sign language.

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A GROUP OF NHS COMMUNITY HOME residents recently enjoyed a fun introduction to the world of sign language thanks to a special activity day.

Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Trust staff at the Solar Centre at St Catherine’s Hospital, Balby, decided to use beach holidays as the theme around which to teach some basic ‘Makaton’ sign language to students with learning difficulties and their carers who live in community care homes in the region.

Staff decorated the room and appeared in hula skirts to create a summery atmosphere, and showed the participants seaside-themed video clips before teaching them the signs for words related to holiday fun. Games such as juggling and bubble-blowing added to the fun.

Everyone who took part was awarded a certificate and the event’s finale was a sing-and-sign performance of Cliff Richard’s ‘Summer Holiday’ where participants got to show off their new knowledge of signing.

Rebecca Knapton, learning and development facilitator for the Trust, explained: ‘The idea behind the themed sessions is to have staff and service users working and learning Makaton together, and having fun at the same time’.

The sessions were delivered as part of a wider strategy to develop and improve communication training for both staff and service users.