TALK Derby changes it focus due to Coronavirus restrictions

Published: 6 April 2020

Council House at night

An ambitious event to promote the power of conversation between adults and children and young people across Derby is changing focus, because of Coronavirus restrictions.

Plans for July’s TALK Derby DAY were launched last month to celebrate the work of TALK Derby – a major Government programme to help local children develop the communication skills they need to learn, make friends, stay well and ultimately find jobs.

The special day, on 1 July, is designed to inspire everyone – parents and families, businesses, schools, colleges and other organisations to stage activities which encourage to talk with each other. Ideas have ranged from teddy bears’ picnics and storytelling, to structured debates and networking for older children and adults. TALK Derby DAY recognises many workplaces are closed and families are staying at home.

The emphasis now will be on encouraging events in the home, and on using video links and other technology to have conversations with friends and loved-ones elsewhere.

Anyone can help a local educational setting to win £250 to spend on speech, language and communication development. To enter, post your activity on social media on 1 July, with the hash tag #talkderbyday. The winner will then be able to nominate the school or setting to receive the £250.

TALK Derby is being co-ordinated for Derby City Council by early years consultancy, Hempsall’s. Project Director Kate Freeman said:

TALK Derby DAY is an opportunity for the whole city to get talking and listening. Life is very different now from the launch only a month ago, so we’re changing how we do this. Conversation is an important part of supporting each other to get through these difficult times, so we want to support parents, carers, professionals, businesses and other organisations to make those conversations count.

TALK Derby will be sharing additional resources and tips in the coming weeks, including home-based ideas for parents and carers, businesses and for small groups of children. This will done through the website and on social media – Twitter (@lets_TALKDerby), Facebook and Instagram (@talk_derby).

TALK Derby was launched in June 2019 to improve life chances for children in the city, and the programme is already having a positive impact. More than 300 professionals have been trained, and 130 different schools and early years settings are now running activities to support children’s speech, language and communication development.

In response to Coronavirus restrictions, all learning and support for early years professionals and parents has already been moved online.

Kate adds:

We recognise that many practitioners are currently focused on providing support for children of keyworkers and those learning at home. However, it’s important that we continue to give them access to support and training if they want it. It’s the same with the resources we offer parents.

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