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Makaton Symbol for Scissors

Sign of the Week

27th September - 3rd October 2021

Learn a new word every week and be inspired to get signing.

This week's sign is...


You can download the symbol and line drawing of the sign for Scissors from the Makaton Library:


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For further details see: How do I download the Sign of the Week?

We want to see you signing!

  1. Record a video of yourself signing. Landscape videos are best!
  2. Upload your video to your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
  3. Share your video using the #wetalkmakaton hashtag

Signs of the Week

Going to Hospital book wins award

Going to Hospital book wins award

The Going To Hospital Book from Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske has been named as the Winner of the Learning Disabilities Initiative of the Year at this year’s HSJ Patient Safety Awards, recognising their hard-work and dedication to healthcare in what has been an unprecedented 18 months across the entire sector.

Front cover of Going to Hospital bookThe Going to Hospital Book is an accessible publication for patients with learning disability or autism and aims to support them in knowing what they might expect when visiting hospital for an appointment or being admitted for a procedure.

The booklet is easy to read, uses Makaton symbols throughout to support images, and is sent out to patients ahead of appointments or hospital admissions.

A Makaton (sign and symbol) resource accompanies the book and is freely available for download by patients and professionals. This provides “now & next” boards with a timeline of treatment, creating a visual timetable for patients.

Over 900 guests gathered at Manchester Central on Monday 20th September 2021, to celebrate the driving of positive cultural change and innovation in the healthcare sector today across a total of 159 finalists and 23 categories.

Going To Hospital was recognised for their proactive, diligent hard work and the demonstrable positive impact that their project has within the health and social care sectors.

Staff from Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske at the awards ceremony

Collecting the award on the night, along with the RCHT team were the collaborators behind the Going to Hospital Book

  • Jane Rees, Learning Disability & Autism Liaison Team Manager, RCHT
  • Angie Emrys-Jones, Co-Author and Looking Up Books Lead
  • Amanda Glennon,  Makaton Ambassador and Tutor at IT Matters CIC

Amanda said: “We are delighted to have the book and Makaton resources recognised in this way and our aspiration is to see them being utilised as standard practice, delivering positive outcomes as the norm.We also enjoyed bringing some Makaton Magic to the event with our signed video winning best pre- awards tweet.”

Download the Going to Hospital book as a pdf file

The Makaton resources are available to download in the Makaton Library, look under Free Resources > Health.

(You need to be signed in to access the Library. Sign in or create a free account)


20th June 2021


MakaHikers raise over £12K

MakaHikers raise over £12K

MakaHikers signing Mountain on the summit of Mount Snowdon

On Saturday 11th September a group of 48 MakaHikers conquered the majestic and awe-inspiring Mount Snowdon in Wales. The MakaHike team included parents of children and adults who use Makaton, Makaton beneficiaries, Makaton Tutors, teachers, NHS workers, volunteers and an assistive therapy dog who all came together to challenge themselves and support the life changing work of The Makaton Charity.

Some MakaHikers had travelled from some of the furthest points around the UK, including Isle of wight, Aberdeen, and Grimsby to take on Mount Snowdon and to raise much needed funds for The Makaton Charity.

The event was a huge success and the MakaHikers made it to the summit with some steam left to sing and sign their hearts out.

The day came with its challenges including steep intervals, heavy rain and thick fog but smiles remained on the faces of the incredible MakaHikers. Some of the mottos we heard on the way up to the summit:

  • “Take just one step at a time, no matter how fast or slow, we will get there”
  • “It’s not about if, but, or maybe, it’s when we get there!”

Lucy with her parents and FlossyAmong the MakaHike team was Lucy, her parents, brother and assistive therapy dog, Flossy.

Lucy used Makaton herself when she was younger and is now a selective user of Makaton. Lucy is an avid fan of Singing Hands, and she uses Makaton when singing. There were a few things that kept Lucy going throughout the climb:

  1. Knowing that the Suzanne from Singing Hands was going to be at the top of the Mountain, where she could get a photo as well as sing and sign with her at the summit.
  2. Supporting with the Makaton Facebook page and knowing she was speaking to over 70,000 followers form around the world via Facebook Live throughout the day.
  3. The support of her family and Flossy, her therapy dog. Flossy was fantastic and encouraged Lucy every step of the way. At every break taken Flossy was available for a hug and doggy cuddle and the occasional jelly baby for fuel!
  4. Hannah our Director and Makaton Ambassador, who broke out into singing and signing every once in a while, with onlookers joining in when they knew the song.

Lucy was a true Makaton champion who kept on going when the going got tough, but she made it to the summit of Mount Snowdon and back. Read Lucy's letter about her Snowdon experience

"The MakaHiker challenge was an amazing experience for us as a family. Before the event we were nervous about whether we had taken on too much but we did training walks which definitely helped us. The support from everyone on the day was brilliant , everyone was very understanding of our children's needs. The signing at the summit was great fun. We are very proud to say we took part in the MakaHiker Challenge 2021 whilst raising money for a very good charity that has helped our family for many years." Becky, parent of Lucy

The atmosphere at the top of Mount Snowdon was electric. Some of the hikers had been at the summit for an hour until the last group had reached the summit but they remained positive albeit cold, wet and windy, ready to sing and sign!

Singing Hands had compiled a brilliant mashup of ‘Keep on Movin’ by Five and ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, which was just what the MakaHikers needed to lift their spirits and enable them to express their passion for Makaton. Onlookers at the summit stopped in their tracks to see what was happening and joined in to experience the positivity that was flowing through the MakaHikers!

In total, it took 8 hours to get to the summit and back down, but it was a truly wonderful event and triumphant, a fabulous achievement full of emotions, especially after the previous year and a half we had all been through. At the end of the day there were achy limbs, wobbly legs, and sore feet and knees but it was worth it to have experienced the euphoric feeling singing and signing together at the top of Mount Snowdon.

The MakaHikers have raised a whopping 12.2k for The Makaton Charity which we are truly grateful for. But the day wasn’t all about raising funds, it was about setting themselves a challenge and each person had their own battles to face, but they persisted and have made a wonderful memory and a moment in history.

We would like to publicly thank Makaton Ambassador Tutor Richard Fish for organising the event safely and securely, providing guides to help us safely reach the summit and return; Suzanne from Singing Hands for providing us with our song and for joining us on our hike and leading the sing and sign at the top of the summit; Makaton Ambassador Tutors Nic Pike and Amanda Glennon for meeting and greeting us at the beginning and at the end of our journey and to all of those who challenged themselves to take part in the hike and raise funds for The Makaton Charity.

Thank you to everyone who sponsored the MakaHikers, if you haven’t donated and would like to support it’s not too late! Our donation page is still open... 

If you missed out this time, don’t worry we are planning our next event, so keep your eyes peeled and get yourselves signed up!


20th June 2021


Head2Head Sensory Theatre (Part 2)

Head2Head Sensory Theatre (part 2)

Two young actors on stage
Head2Head logo

At Head2Head Sensory Theatre, we create multi-sensory, interactive and accessible theatre for young people with special and additional needs, from curriculum-based installations, to our take on well-known stories and traditional family pantomimes. 

All our shows use Makaton signing, not just for songs but to support dialogue too.  We are very proud to hold Makaton Friendly status. 

Sadly we are still unable to tour our latest holiday production, Piccolo Pinocchio, due to Covid-19, but I’m pleased to say we have filmed the show instead.  In addition, we were joined by Lauren, a young actor with SEND who worked alongside us in her first professional role.  More about Lauren later.

The last 6 months

So what have we been up to since my last blog?  Just to remind you, without being able to perform live, we needed to produce digital work. 

It began with filming our family holiday show in Easter 2020, Come Trot to Camelot, and then moving on to Zoom shows – the first of which was delivered from my front room! 

In November, we filmed our pantomime, Cinderella, which was accompanied by pre-film Zoom workshops during December to both schools and families.  In these workshops we practised signed songs, sensory moments in the panto and the final disco dance number. 

Needless to say, live events via technology brought many interesting challenges. One day, I delivered panto workshops to a school where they had no cameras or mics: all I could see on my laptop was my own face and 7 empty screens on mute!  A little disconcerting, but they talked with me via the ‘chat’ facility and I was assured they not only learned the Makaton signs I was demonstrating, but they also joined in with everything and had a fantastic time.  It was good to know they hadn’t just nipped out for a quick cup of tea!

Green is the new screen!

When we went into lock-down again in January, I needed to write another Zoom show super-quick that could be delivered by an actor from their own home to our families’ homes.  However, I felt that a step-up in technology was required.  Green-screen!  I had never worked with this medium before and there were several frustrated returns to the drawing board! 

Once I had the technology sorted, Blackbeard’s Revenge was ready to roll.  Our pirating adventure was made all the more fun with the addition of young actor-volunteers with SEND making an appearance.  The Zoom show had two characters and Frankie was played by one of our actor-volunteers.  Over the run of the show, we had three Frankies join us: Daniel, Dean and Harry.  


Harry with his friend who helped out 
in the Awesome Pawsome Pal song!

“I enjoy the story and my big role. The script was funny jokes.  It was nice have an audience each show. The finale make the children smile.  Each show make me proud of my day.”  Harry Phillips (Actor-Volunteer)

All three actor-volunteers were awesome too!  It was great to see them using Makaton signing and encouraging the participants to join in.  They were fantastic Makaton role models!

Piccolo Pinocchio

And so to our current show – Piccolo Pinocchio. As lockdown had eased and we were able to get together to film, we decided to look for a young actor with SEND to play a professional role.  Working in conjunction with the Orpheus Centre based in Godstone, Surrey, we Zoom-auditioned loads of young actors for the role of J Crick the Cricket.  They were all so brilliant, so it was hard to make a choice!  However, we were delighted to offer the role to Lauren.


Lauren as J Crick the Cricket

All our rehearsals with Lauren were via Zoom or by film: she learned the closing dance number purely by watching a filmed demonstration – brilliant!  Lauren was already proficient at Makaton and she introduced even more signing to her character than we had anticipated.  During her day filming on set, we had to work at quite a pace to get everything covered and Lauren took it all in her stride.  And the hard work put into the dance rehearsals certainly paid off.

Actor dancing

“I enjoyed the carnival dance because it was so much fun to do and also because I did it with the other actors.”  Lauren Masser (Actor)

Lauren was a real star!  And I’m pleased to say we have another star in our film Piccolo Pinocchio, albeit just their voice!  We were very fortunate to have been provided with the vocal skills of Phil “Mister Maker” Gallagher in the role of the whale.

Phil GallagherWhale

You can see from above that our artist, Arin Smethurst, has given a little bit of Mister Maker hair-flair to the character of the whale!

"I am so pleased and proud to be a small part of Piccolo Pinocchio.  It is a pleasure to support Head2Head Sensory Theatre and I wish all the team, cast and creatives my very best wishes.  I can't wait to see the finished film!" Phil Gallagher (from "Mister Maker")

And there’s more

As introduced with the pantomime, we also have live Zoom workshops for schools and families to accompany Piccolo Pinocchio.

“Classes really got into the spirit and were cheering at the end. Thank you so much!” 
Heltwate School, Peterborough

And, of course, there’s an accompanying advance pack.  Here we give a list of bits and bobs to gather together or make (like pizza dough!) beforehand for a truly multi-sensory and interactive experience. There are also Widgit symbols for the storyline and song lyrics, as well as some arts/crafts and games activities.  There’s even a role to be played at home – the Indigo Elf!  They have their own magic move – the Indigo Flow!  Once you have made your purchase via our website, you will also have access to the Piccolo Pinocchio playlist on our YouTube channel.  Amongst the videos, you can learn the Indigo Flow and Carnival dance from Erica, who plays Pinocchio.

If you’re looking for something to do during the summer holidays, then Piccolo Pinocchio could be the film for you.  Please visit our What’s On page to find out more https://www.h2hsensorytheatre.com/whats-on-2021

Awesome August

And I’m delighted to say that we will be performing live again with a little show!  Beachcombers & Mudlarking is going out as part of our ‘Awesome August’ season.  Please check out our What’s On page as above for information on venues.  Beachcombers & Mudlarking is an adaptation of that very first Zoom show delivered from my front room, so this is a rather lovely and fitting way to return to the work we so love to do.  Hope to see you there!

If you are new to Head2Head Sensory Theatre, then please follow us on social media – Facebook/Twitter/Instagram @h2htheatre – to see what we’re up to.


Sara Cole

Artistic Director
Head2Head Sensory Theatre

28th July 2021

At work

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