Hailsham residents’ bid to make town Makaton friendly

Two Hailsham residents are working to make the town Makaton friendly.

Sandra Bowen and Karen Wilmshurst, both Makaton teachers, are offering free training to businesses, organisations and community groups in a bid to achieve the status.

Sandra Bowen and Karen Wilmshurst are working to make Hailsham Makaton friendly

Sandra Bowen and Karen Wilmshurst are working to make Hailsham Makaton friendly

Makaton is a language programme made up of signs, symbols and the spoken word for children and young people with communication difficulties.

Karen said: “We are working for Hailsham to become the first Makaton friendly town in East Sussex .

“To achieve the status 30 businesses, organisations and community groups in the town need to undertake basic Makaton training.

“When the status is achieved Hailsham would be included on the Makaton map of friendly towns and cities.

Sandra and Karen are offering free Makaton training to businesses, organisations and community groups

Sandra and Karen are offering free Makaton training to businesses, organisations and community groups

“Each business and organisation would be able to display posters and include on their web sites and advertising.”

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There are currently three towns in the country that have achieved Makaton friendly status, the pair said. Canterbury will also shortly become the first city.

Sandra and Karen

Sandra and Karen

“The benefits of the scheme is showing commitment to providing inclusive opportunities and access to all in the town,” said Karen.

“It gives parents caters and Makaton users increased confidence that their local community is accessible to all.”

For more information about Makaton, visit www.makaton.org