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Crowds gather to hear Christmas carol singing and signing with Makaton at Ealing Broadway shopping centre

For the first time ever in Ealing, a special festive Makaton singing and signing event with Christmas carols and seasonal tunes has taken place at Ealing Broadway shopping centre. 

The special performance, which saw Ealing Mayor Councillor Hitesh Tailor attend, took place on 15 December 2023 and was organised by Ealing Community Partners’ (ECP) Children’s Speech and Language team.

Among the tunes at the Makaton Christmas celebration that brought delight to shoppers getting their last minute Christmas presents was White Christmas, Silent Night, Away In A Manger, Jingle Bells and Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer.

Makaton is a communication tool that uses speech, signs and symbols and helps people communicate with others.

The festive event follows Ealing’s first ever Makaton Flash-mob organised by the same team in September to mark Speech and Language Therapy Awareness Month.

Hannah Howell-Day and Zoe Wilkinson from ECP’s Speech and Language were joined in the festive Makaton at Ealing Broadway shopping centre by community partners including Ealing Mencap, Dare2Dream and Ealing Council. Impact Theatre also performed a dance to White Christmas.

Hannah Howell-Day, clinical lead for Early Years Speech and Language Therapy said: “Makaton is an inclusive, unique language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate. It supports the development of essential communication skills such as attention and listening, comprehension, memory, recall and organisation of language and expression.”

Ahmed from Ealing Mencap added: “This has been a beautiful way of integrating people with learning difficulties with the local community. It has provided a perfect opportunity for them to experience social inclusion.”

Videos from the performance can be found by clicking here.

For more information on Makaton in Ealing email: wlm-tr.sltuniversalservices@nhs.net

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