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Free resources

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Online and face-to-face workshops in your area...


Makaton symbol for the letter L

Sign of the Week

14h - 20th June 2021

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

This week's sign is...

The letter L

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


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

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

Trustees wanted

Trustees wanted

Three people signing Good

The Makaton Charity is seeking Trustees to help us grow our digital membership and community schemes and to reflect a more diverse set of stakeholders.

We believe growing our membership community and schemes will be vital to achieving our vision and strategy. For individual members we want to offer fantastic personalisation, on-line learning and community space experiences that really benefit beneficiaries, their families, and carers. For group and professional members, we want to provide brilliant products and offers such as training and resources, tailored to their sectors including the NHS/health, education, and social care.

We are therefore seeking up to two more Trustees who can:

  • Bring knowledge and experience of successfully scaling up digitally enabled and subscription-based membership communities and schemes. These should maximise member engagement and retention, as well as providing an income in line with our financial plans. Your experience is likely to be in organisations that have blended true community building with generating a sustainable income well – either Business-to-consumer (B2C), Business-to-business (B2B) or both. Particular experience in user experience considerations and impact assessment will be helpful.
  • Provide advice, guidance, and challenge to the evolution of our strategy, plans and projects. Making appropriate introductions within sectors and with relevant potential digital or other corporate partners would also be helpful.
  • Bring independence of judgement, the capacity to bring a fresh, external but constructive view to decision making, and champion our ambition to support and reflect a more diverse set of members and beneficiaries
  • Play a full role as a charity Trustee, including attending Board meetings and other committee meetings, as needed. General duties and responsibilities of a Trustee are found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-essential-trustee-what-you-need-to-know-cc3
  • Bring passion, interest and enthusiasm for our vision and values - help us ‘think and act big’ and extend our influence and reach!
    What commitment is required?

Trustees are voluntary roles (approved expenses will be paid) with an initial term of three years. You would need the time to:

  • Prepare for and attend c. five 2-hour Board meetings a year (mainly held remotely but one or two per year to be held at our offices in Frimley) including an annual ½ day awayday. However, we are keen not to put any geographical constraints on our Trustees.
  • Prepare for and attend any committee meetings you would be involved with (generally only one which would have between 3-5, 2-hour meetings a year held remotely). In time, to be willing to chair a committee.
  • Provide limited ad hoc support and input as required.

Next steps

Download the Trustee Recruitment Guide

Please send any queries and/or a full CV together with a brief covering letter to Sarah.Parke@makaton.org by 23rd July. We will arrange a discussion with our Chair, Rob Douglas and CEO, Stephen Hall.  Please note that all Trustees must pass an enhanced DBS check. 


16th June 2021


National Lottery grant

Makaton receive a National Lottery grant

National Lottery Community Fund logo

National lottery Community Fund logoWe are delighted to announce that they have received a grant of £9,500, from the National Lottery, to develop a series of women’s health resources.

Period education and women’s health is an important part of growing up and can be more difficult for those who have learning and communication difficulties.

Shelina Mitha, a Senior Makaton Tutor and Sarah Mayers, a postgraduate at Sterling University, have been working tireless to undertake research and develop a social story and corresponding communication board to support and empower conversations about puberty and periods. This resource is undergoing final editing and will be available late Summer within the ‘Free Resources’ section of the Makaton Library.

Two further resources will be designed around ‘female safeguarding’ and ‘consent’, to support understanding of Makaton Users and aid communication during their informative year leading to adulthood. These newly developed resources can be used widely by families, and professional alike, to help those who have learning and communication difficulties to move smoothly into adulthood. The resource will be factual, informative, and empowering, enabling girls and women to have more control, more choice and live safer lives. Watch this space!

Makaton will be working closely with our partners at Mencap and The Real Period Project to distribute the resources to a vast audience. We will be using our collective social media powers, to highlight the importance of clear and supported conversations, and provide digital access to the resources and user guides.


24th May 2021


Jennifer’s Makaton Journey

Jennifer's Makaton Journey

Sentence board with lots of Makaton symbol cards
Colourful Semantics with Makaton Symbols

I am a teacher from West Yorkshire, and I started my Makaton journey a little over a year ago with the very talented Kerry Cawley. Kerry has supported me all the way and has become a very good friend. 

I originally attended training to help a little girl in my care that needed Makaton for communication needs. When I took my training back into the classroom it quickly transpired that Makaton was going to not only help her but also help lower ability children within the classroom. I have completed Levels 1-3 and am a registered trainer for MSB (Makaton for babies).

Shortly after I had two other children join my class from overseas and they didn't have any English. We used Makaton signs and symbols and they picked up English quickly. As the rest of the class knew a little Makaton too, they were able to make friends and communicate. During lockdown, my Makaton journey has gone further, and I have used it with encouraging language development and sentence construction through face to face and online learning. I have seen reluctant writers become more confident and their parents have been enjoying learning a new skill along the way, through their children. When I spoke to the parents 93% of them said their children had improved their literacy skills by using Makaton and enjoyed writing again.

As we have moved out of lockdown, I have continued using Makaton within my everyday teaching. The children haven't regressed as much as I thought they might, and their sentence structure is much stronger. I feel very proud of the children as they have developed a new skill by not only helping their writing abilities but have developed the ability to be able to communicate with other people.

At the start of the year, I started by using symbols and colourful semantics to formulate sentences. As we are approaching the end of the year, I have a class of 28 children confidently signing in sentences, constantly asking for how to sign new words. I cannot recommend using Makaton enough for making writing fun and bringing it to live with visual representation!

Are you ready to take the first step and start learning Makaton? Getting started with Makaton is fun and easy. And once you've started, you'll soon want to learn more , starting with the Core Vocabulary. We look forward to welcoming you to the Makaton family soon!


Jennifer M

24th May 2021

At school

How Makaton works

Makaton uses speech with signs (gestures) and symbols (pictures) to help people communicate...

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