The latest news from The Makaton Charity.

Makaton Signing for Babies and Families

Makaton Signing for Babies and Families

A mother reading and signing to her young son, who is sitting on her lap

A mother reading and signing to her young son, who is sitting on her lapMakaton Signing for Babies and Families (MSBF) is for parents, family members or carers who would like to sign with babies and children in their care and have no previous experience of Makaton. These 6 sessions are designed for you and your child to have fun and learn together. 

The sessions are designed to encourage the development of communication and language skills in babies and toddlers. All the sessions are fun and interactive for you and your child. You will learn approximately 100 Makaton signs and symbols using songs, games and activities.

How can I teach this within my community?

You can become an MSBF Trainer and deliver Makaton Signing for Babies and Families to parents, carers and Early Years Professionals and the children in their care.

As a Makaton Trainer, you can now maximise your income by offering freelance training services. Build your own business, on your own terms, at a pace that you decide. Your MSBF sessions can be advertised on the Makaton website.

A young girl signingThe MSBF Train the Trainer Course focuses on information giving, signing and activities. It also includes sessions on the delivery of Makaton Signing for Babies and Families , paying particular attention to the format and presentation of sessions, to encourage learning while having fun.

It’s a one day course where you will be required to deliver a session from the Makaton Signing for Babies and Families course.

Prior to applying to become a Makaton Signing for Babies and Families Trainer, you must have attended the following workshops within the last 5 years.

  • Makaton Signing for Babies and Families Sessions
  • Level 1 and 2 Workshops

To find MSBF courses and MSBF Train the Trainer courses you can search all available workshops here


25th April 2022


Singing Hands awarded MBEs

Singing Hands awarded MBEs

Singing Hands with their MBEs at Windsor Castle

Singing Hands with MBEsThe Makaton Charity are delighted to congratulate our Patrons, Suzanne Miell-Ingram and Tracy Upton for their MBE Investiture at Windsor Castle in February. They even managed to teach Prince Charles some Makaton in the process! Suzanne shares their experience...

On New Years’ Day 2021 the two of us discovered that we’d been awarded MBEs in the Queen’s New Years’ Honours List for Services to Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. It was such a surprise and an overwhelmingly positive piece of news after a challenging year under Covid. We were thrilled at being acknowledged for our work over the years spreading awareness about the benefits of using Makaton through songs, stories and games.

It remained a total mystery how the award came about – but in the ensuing weeks our office manager could no longer contain the secret that she’d known about for such a long time. She finally spilled the beans that we’d been nominated by a family who we’d worked with at Great Ormond Street Hospital. The family had contacted Brenda (our office manager) to put them in touch with other Singing Hands families who in turn would contribute numerous supporting letters of recommendation for the application. How everyone kept this secret was baffling as the application and approval process took a full two years.

Singing Hands with MBEs

Obviously, as soon as we found out in January we went straight online and ordered our red outfits, new shoes and fascinators figuring we should stay ‘on brand’ in terms of colour for our ceremony.

The family who nominated us have an amazing little daughter with Down Syndrome and at the time we first met her she was being treated for a rare form of cancer. We visited her every week for months and months in her isolation room and sang and signed with her and her Mummy and Daddy. Despite being so poorly, she was such keen learner – she absorbed everything we taught her and became the most fantastic little signer. Her rendition of the Pirate song was something to behold. If any of you saw our Facebook Post in December 2021, you’ll have seen her signing the Singing Hands version of Boney M’s ‘Mary’s Boy Child’ on stage at her school talent show. Needless to say – she won!

Fast forward to Spring 2022 we finally get sent the date of our investiture – 1st February 2022 at Windsor Castle.

It was such an incredible day. We arrived at the castle in the most beautiful Spring sunshine after a super early start to get our hair & make up done. We were allowed one guest each. I took my daughter Ella and Tracy took her partner Alistair.

Suzanne and Tracy signing with Prince Charles

It was amazing inside the castle – there was lots of pomp and ceremony with numerous staff in various regimental uniforms and all the guests were in their finery. During the morning, we were led through various state rooms till we came to the main hall for the presentation. We were coached by one of the staff how to approach, address and curtsey to Prince Charles.

We were allowed to go up together (apparently this is very rare) and we were presented with our MBEs by Prince Charles. We curtseyed and signed good morning, he asked us various questions about what we do, how we met, and then we each taught him our favourite signs. As many of you know Tracy’s favourite sign is TERRAPIN and mine is SNAIL. Although these are not going to be terribly useful signs for him at least they will be memorable. We both then signed thank you at the end too. Who knows, maybe he will go and teach these signs to his grandchildren?

After the ceremony, we had official photographs in St George’s Hall (the Gallery which has been completely restored after fire back in 1992). After a bit of time to relax at home in the afternoon, we completed the day with a celebratory dinner in the evening with the rest of our family. It was the perfect end to a fantastic day.

On a final note – although this day was incredible for the two of us, we cannot take the whole credit. We wouldn’t have been at Windsor Castle to collect MBEs, there would be no Singing Hands and Tracy and I wouldn’t have even met had our children Miles and Ella not come into our lives. Because of them, Tracy and I met at a Special Needs Support group in 2000 and that’s how it all began. Their need as little babies and toddlers to learn Makaton through child-centred activities like songs and stories inspired us to set up Singing Hands. They continue to inspire everything we do 22 years later.

With huge thanks to all the Singing Hands families who supported this MBE nomination, for the support of the Makaton Charity over the years and for all the many other families who continue to support everything we do. Thank you!

Suzanne Miell-Ingram MBE

Click here to check out the Singing Hands website


28th February 2022


Makaton Safeguarding

Makaton Approaches to Safeguarding

Richard signing Makaton for health, wellbeing, relationships and more...

Join us on our first online Safeguarding Workshop, delivered over Zoom on 9th and 16th May from 9am to 5pm by Makaton Ambassador Tutor Richard Fish. Cost is £189 per participant.

The Makaton Safeguarding workshop is designed to support anyone who cares for or works with children and adults with learning and communication difficulties.

Participants must have previously completed Makaton Level 1 and 2 or equivalent.

Click here to search for a Level 1 and/or Level 2 

The workshop is about safeguarding all people with additional communication needs, focusing on topics such as health, wellbeing, hygiene and relationships. The workshop looks at Makaton Users in a person-centred way, to develop their communication skills, make choices, understand what is happening and to meet their needs as effectively as possible. On the workshop you will learn 300 signs and symbols covering the following topics:

  • People (family, relationships and people around us)
  • Body parts
  • Clothing Places
  • Time concepts
  • Feelings, thoughts and behaviours
  • Bullying and abuse Intimate matters

You will receive a Participant’s Manual which includes the signs and symbols that you have learned and you will also be given a certificate of attendance.

Participants go away with ideas and solutions and in turn this has a big impact on young people and adults with communication difficulties, creating an accessible communication environment which empowers Makaton Users to thrive, be safe and engage fully with the world around them.

“An increasingly important and functional course, taught and discussed in a thought-provoking manner. This course has provided me with the tools to support understanding and expression of specific anatomy and actions which are all part of growing up and keeping safe.”

Bethany Whitelam, Speech and Language Therapist, Norwich

“As a parent of a primary school aged daughter attending the Safeguarding Workshop has provided me with lots of useful vocabulary. The workshop offered space for reflection on how I might start to help my daughter express and understand thoughts, feelings and emotions, incredibly useful for being prepared to adapt to her needs in the future.“
Hannah, parent from Lincoln

Book your place today!


28th February 2022


March Madness

March Madness

SALE: 20% off a wide variety of resources

The March Madness sale ended on 31st March 2022.

March Madness is back and better than ever, with 20% savings on a wide range of Makaton resources until Thursday 31st March 2022.

Simply go to the shop, add one or more resources into your shopping cart, go to the checkout, type the code MM20 in to the promotional code field, and click Apply to get 20% off all eligible products*


The relevant discount will be applied to the total cost of your order.

*Tutor manuals and guidelines are not included in the sale

1st March 2021


Exciting Trustee opportunities

Exciting Trustee opportunities

Makaton trainees signing at a workshop

The closing date for these vacancies was 18th March 2022.

Do you have passion, interest, and enthusiasm for making a real difference… we could have the perfect opportunity for you! The Makaton Charity is seeking two new Trustees to expand our reach within health and education sectors, help grow our digital membership and to reflect a more diverse set of stakeholders.

The Makaton Charity

Makaton is a language programme that combines signs, symbols, and speech to empower anyone living with learning or communication difficulties to understand and be understood. Makaton has brought positive transformation to millions of lives. 

The board of Trustees is responsible for determining and overseeing the strategic direction of the Charity. The Chief Executive and management team is responsible for implementing the strategy within budget and timetable, and thus meeting the needs of the language programme, Tutors and end Users, now and in the future.

Who we need

We are seeking two new Trustees to us develop and grow our reach, bringing current knowledge and experience through either of the following:

  • Health (NHS), social care and/or education sectors. This may be through having a leadership or policy role in a provider setting.
  • Expertise in membership and community schemes. Bringing knowledge and experience of successfully scaling up digitally enabled and subscription-based membership communities and schemes.  

If successful, appointed Trustees will offering advice, guidance, and challenge to the evolution of our strategy, contribute fresh views to decision making, and champion our ambition to support and reflect a more diverse set of members and beneficiaries.

The commitment

To play a full role as a charity Trustee you must be committed to attending Board meetings and other committee meetings, as needed. General duties and responsibilities of a Trustee are found at

How do I apply?

If you are interested in becoming a Trustee for The Makaton Charity, please click here to download full role specification


The closing date for these vacancies was 18th March 2022.


15th February 2022


Kickstart scheme

Kickstart scheme

Two women signing

We are delighted to be involved in the Government’s Kickstart scheme and are offering the following opportunity:

Membership Administration Assistant

This opportunity is open to anyone aged between 16 and 23 and in receipt of Universal Credit and meeting specific criteria.  To find out more or to apply please contact your Work Coach at your local Job Centre, and state that the vacancy is listed under The Makaton Charity.  These positions cannot be applied for directly through the charity.

See also: Working for us


8th February 2022


Easter Egg Hunt

Easter Egg Hunt

How many Easter Eggs can you find on the Makaton website?

The Easter Egg hunt has finished. See you next year!


How many Easter Eggs can you find on the Makaton website?There are Easter Eggs hidden all over our website!

Search through the pages to see if you can spot them.

Let us know on social media how many you can find.


11th April 2022


Makaton Moments

Makaton Moments

Two boys, with arms around each other, signing OK

28th January 2022


Work for us

Work for us

Makaton symbol for Office Worker

The closing date for this vacancy was 18th February 2022

We are recruiting! A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a Membership Engagement Officer to support our Makaton membership team with engagement and retention, via connecting with our members.

The key focus of the position will be on generating engaging content within the MakaChat eCommunity and understanding what members needs are through questioning and working with our Ambassador network.

We are looking for a candidate who has good copy writing and proof-reading abilities and will help to plan and manage member events, as well as monitor member feedback and help generate ideas and leads for content. Candidates will be collaborating extensively with our network so must be interested in engaging with and understanding disabilities as well as the wider Makaton user community.

Key skills include excellent problem-solving abilities, an understanding of how to interpret data, flexibility, and a willingness to work with many different groups of people.

For more details about the position and to get a full job description, please contact

The closing date for this vacancy was 18th February 2022, with a start date as early as possible after 28th February. This is a 6 month, FTC for 21 hours per week (preferably over 3 full days).

See also: Working for us


27th January 2022


MakaHike 2022

MakaHike 2022

MakaHike - We're going to Ben Nevis -Saturday 10th September 20222022 -

Are you looking for a new challenge for 2022?

After the success of the MakaHike 2021, this year we will be taking on Ben Nevis for the MakaHike 2022!

In September 2021, a group of intrepid MakaHikers climbed to the summit of Mount Snowdon in Wales and raised over £12k for The Makaton Charity!

Here's a little taster of the event where there was a 'sing and sign' at the summit of the amazing Singing Hands mash-up of Keep on Movin' / Ain't No Mountain High Enough!


After the success of MakaHike 2021, this year we will be taking on Ben Nevis for the MakaHike 2022! Come and join us to climb Ben Nevis on Saturday 10th September 2022. At the top there will be a Makaton ‘sing and sign’, again led by Suzanne Miell-Ingram from Singing Hands

Standing at 1345m Ben Nevis summit is the highest point in the UK, and about 25% bigger than Mount Snowdon, the journey there and back is 10.5 miles long. Are you ready for the challenge? Cost is £49.00 per person with a minimum fundraising target £150. Email for the application form.


15th January 2022


The Tutor Training Journey

The Tutor Training Journey

If you’ve completed your Makaton Workshop Levels 1 to 4 you might be thinking about the next step.

The Makaton Tutor Training journey covers, in depth, the design of the Makaton Language Programme and its implementation over an extensive range of difficulties. 

On the Tutor Training course you will:

  • Develop your knowledge and understanding of language structure.
  • Learn about techniques to advance signing and symbol use.
  • Develop your translation skills.
  • Learn about delivering Makaton Workshops to our standard of Excellence.

Once you’ve successfully completed your Tutor Training journey you will:

  • Be a key part of the Makaton Community.
  • Have access to the resource and tools to successfully embed and teach the Makaton Language Programme.
  • Be part of a collaborative Tutor Network.
  • Have opportunities to be involved and influence the direction of the Makaton Charity.

A Licensed Makaton Tutor can deliver all of the standardised Makaton workshops and can work freelance. There are opportunities to provide support to others and liaise regularly with The Makaton Charity.

Training to become a Makaton Tutor could be one of the most rewarding things you do! Don’t take our word for it, here’s what some of our recently qualified Tutors have to say about the process.

“I never knew how much I loved Makaton until I completed my Tutor Training. Before the training days I was really anxious, unsure what to expect and who I was going to meet. I doubted whether I was ready and if I was good enough. The training with Zanna and Tracy was invaluable. They really put us all at ease and reminded us that we are now on the journey to become a Tutor, no matter how long it takes, we will get there and that they would be there every step of the way.

Through this journey, I have made lifelong friends. My Tutor has supported me all the way through my journey, and the encouragement from the Senior Tutors and Ambassadors is outstanding. There is always someone to support at any time. I have taken away so much from this journey, particularly a new-found confidence that I never realised I had. Becoming a Makaton Tutor is one of my proudest achievements and a title that I will truly cherish.”

Jess, Tutor Training course May 2021

“I first began my Makaton journey back in 2007 and I have firmly embedded it in my working life since. The last few years have been rather a whirlwind of Makaton from the moment I refreshed all my training and got inspired to become a Makaton Signing for Babies Trainer to embarking on the Tutor Training journey and finally to achieving Makaton Friendly status for my business.

As a licensed Makaton Tutor I am very proud to be able to represent the Charity by teaching others, right from babies, and I hope that my love of working with children, families of all ages, and Makaton shines through everything I do.

It’s been a wonderful journey full of hard work, planning, preparation (and revision!) but well worth it for the opportunity to give everyone a voice. To give them a chance to make choices and be independent, but most of all, to provide them with access to a language programme that can help enable each and every one of them to reach their full potential.”

Pixie, Tutor Training course July 2021


Pixie and Leo

“My journey to becoming a Makaton Tutor has been that of enjoyment. I have had the privilege of learning from very experienced Makaton Tutors and have gone more in depth into the theory part of Makaton, from its history through to techniques of teaching to the required standard expected by the charity.

What I have taken away from my Tutor Training journey is that the support that is always available for you, whether this be from the charity itself or from other Tutors. I have found that other Tutors are always more than happy to help if you have any queries, and the training department are always on the end of a phone or email.

Finally, I would like to add that this has been a dream of mine for many years and all I would say to anybody that is thinking about this journey is, follow your dreams as they can come true!”

David, Tutor Training course July 2021

If the Makaton Tutor training journey sounds like something you’d like to pursue then please email and we can send you more details about the pathway and the application process.


10th January 2022


Countdown to Christmas Highlights 2021

Countdown to Christmas Highlights 2021

Festively dressed participants in the Countdown to Christmas

A massive thank you to everyone who took part in our Countdown to Christmas.

To help you get through the dark days of January we’ve put together a few highlights and outtakes. Enjoy!


10th January 2022


Aquatint, behind the scenes

Aquatint, behind the scenes

Man packing Makaton workshop manuals into a box
Aquatint Logo

Aquatint are the fulfilment and storage provider for The Makaton Charity's resources, including books, manuals and merchandise. Aquatint give a behind the scenes view of how Makaton resources are printed, produced and delivered to you.

Aquatint staffSince we first worked with The Makaton Charity in 2010 our relationship has grown dramatically and we hope to the benefit of both organisations. Aquatint has a proven background of working with charities such as  Breast Cancer Now, Young Minds, St Mungos and the World Wildlife Fund.  In the early days of our relationships we were as “just another supplier”  happily supplying printed items by the crate full which were delivered into a distribution centre and there our involvement ended. We like to think that this supplier/customer relationship has now evolved into a more productive partnership.

Manuals being boundTechnology never stands still and over the years the charity has shown itself to be open to harness new methods to improve their service to their customers and reduce costs.  The first major step was to move to “print on demand” and “just in time ordering” making use of our investments in high end digital printing systems. This meant only ordering goods as required and doing away with the need to hold large volume of stock thus vastly reducing storage costs and wastage and doing away with the need for a separate storage facility. The on-demand service has allowed the Makaton charity to continue to offer its wide range of specialist publications without having to invest in holding stock. 

Getting ready to pack manualsIn addition to the books and manuals we also supply much of the merchandise such as pens, t-shirts and hoodies etc. We tap into our supply chain of approximately 90 manufacturers supplying approximately 15000 items. When supplying such items, it is essential that we can guarantee that they are all ethically produced and all standards with regard to environment and working conditions are met. To this end we only work with suppliers certified by Sedex ensuring they meet compliance and drive positive impact on people.

We constantly work with the team at Makaton to see how we can drive efficiency and reduce the number of contact points in the journey of getting materials into the hands of tutors and customers alike. Currently we receive daily orders which are printed or picked and packed normally within 24 hours of receipt and delivered via Royal Mail or courier. The system very much works on having accurate records at all times and our whole system is integrated with stock and production records and our next step on the journey will be to integrate or open these systems with Makaton. However, it seems like all software projects this is proving slightly more difficult to achieve!

Anca PiketIt has been a constantly evolving journey with the Makaton Charity and we look forward to it continuing.

Roc Da Silva, Director of Finance and Services, comments:

"Anca Piket (pictured) looks after our daily relationship with our fulfilment and storage provider Aquatint and has helped our strong daily relationship with them.

"We are always pleased to discuss our needs with them, and they are always amiable towards providing us with product sourcing, a continued good service and we look forward to 2022 being fruitful for both parties."


10th January 2022


Vacancy: Membership Engagement Officer

Vacancy: Membership Engagement Officer

Makaton symbol for Office Worker

The closing date for this vacancy was Wednesday 26th January 2022.

We are recruiting! A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a Membership Engagement Officer to support our Makaton membership team with engagement and retention, via connecting with our members.

The key focus of the position will be on generating engaging content within the MakaChat eCommunity, and understanding what members needs are through questioning and working with our Ambassador network.

We are looking for a candidate who has good copy writing and proof-reading abilities, can interpret data and insight to produce effective digital content, and has experience of using content and digital channels to attract and grow new audiences. Experience of working in a Membership based attraction or Charity would be desirable.

Applicants must be interested in engaging with and understanding disabilities and the wider Makaton user community, be an excellent problem solver, personable, flexible, and hardworking.

For more details about the position and to get a full job description, please contact

This is a 6 month, FTC for 21 hours per week (preferably over 3 full days).

The closing date is Wednesday 26th January, with a start date from w/c 28th February.

See also: Work for us


10th January 2022


Library maintenance

Library maintenance

Makaton symbol for Library

During the festive season and in the early New Year, we are working on our library to make it smarter, to give you a better search return.

In the meantime, you may experience some unusual search returns.

Please bear with us whilst we are working on the library.

Thank you.


30th November 2021


Makaton Friendly relaunched!

Makaton Friendly relaunched!

Young man pointing to a symbol menu held by a young waitress

Young man pointing to a symbol menu held by a young waitressWe are delighted to announce that we have relaunched our exciting new Makaton Friendly partnership programme, designed to make organisations and community more accessible to Makaton users. We are passionate about communication and firmly believe that all children and adults with learning or communication difficulty should enjoy equal access to services and facilities. The scheme drives inclusivity to help create a fairer and more tolerant society for all.

There are Makaton Friendly organisations across the country, with more joining each week. They can range from nurseries, childminders schools and colleges to farms, churches, retail shops, cafes even football and sport clubs. They have all invested in their staff and venues to meet our Makaton Friendly criteria and improve their accessibility for anyone using Makaton.

Take a look at our Makaton Friendly map is there a Makaton Friendly place near you? Are you visiting an area? Why not check if there is a Makaton Friendly organisation there!

We are proud to say that St Asaph is the first Makaton Friendly city in Wales to become Makaton Friendly. This has taken a lot of hard work and dedication from our Makaton Tutors and organisations in the city, working together to provide a whole community that welcomes and includes people with learning or communication difficulties that use Makaton. We have other towns that are Makaton Friendly and large cities that are hot on the heels of St Asaph.

When you are out and about you may see our Makaton Friendly window sticker or certificate

This is to show that the organisation has demonstrated that they:

  • Understand that people use alternative ways to communicate
  • Provide a supporting and welcoming environment
  • Use symbols and signs around the organisation to aid inclusiveness and independence

Do you work in an organisation or have visited somewhere that you feel is Makaton Friendly? We have more information on our website for organisations about Becoming a Makaton Friendly Partner. Alternatively, please contact us at if you would like some more guidance  on how to help an organisation to become Makaton Friendly.
If you visit a Makaton Friendly place, please share with us on social media it would be great to see and hear of your visits.


18th November 2021


Communication Access UK First Anniversary

Communication Access UK First Anniversary

Communication Access UK logo

Communication Access UK logo #CommunicationAccess

Everyday life can be a real challenge for the millions of people in the UK who have speech, language and communication needs. Good customer service from companies, who know how to communicate with them in an inclusive way, can make such a difference to their experiences. This is why, in November 2020, The Makaton Charity worked with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and other partners to launch free Communication Access training to help businesses and individuals get better at supporting people with communication needs.

Over 4,500 businesses and individuals have already registered for the training, but with your help, we’d like to encourage many more organisations to sign up. So, to mark the first anniversary of the training, please join us on Wednesday, 17 November 2021 to create greater awareness of people’s communication difficulties and how this fantastic business tool can benefit everyone. 

We’ll be posting content along with our other partner organisations on social media throughout the day using the hashtag #CommunicationAccess, but we’d love to see your posts too. There are a number of ways you can get involved and here are some examples:

On social media (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) use the hashtag #CommunicationAccess and signpost people to to:

  • Reach out to your local businesses and encourage them to sign up;
  • Share your stories/experiences of communication difficulty and provide good and bad examples of the kind of customer service you’ve received and how this has made you feel;
  • Say why you are supporting the Communication Access training initiative and how it would make life easier for you if every business undertook the training;
  • Tell us if you’ve had a good customer experience from a company that is already Communication Access Accredited (taken the training).
  • Tell us if you have done the Communication Access training yourself and how it has helped you and others.

Communication Access training for organisations gives them information and awareness of how they can support all with a communication need. Organisations can then further their support to the Makaton community by attending Makaton training, to enable them to join the Makaton Friendly partnership progamme. The Makaton Friendly partnership programme is a key tool in making organisations and community spaces more accessible toMakaton Users. The scheme drives inclusivity to help create a fairer and more tolerant society for all. Find out how to become a Makaton Friendly partner.


12th November 2021


Makaton News revamp

Makaton News revamp

Two women talking to each other

All good things must come to an end… and be replaced with something even better!

We are changing the format of Makaton Monthly to make way for a new and improved Makaton newsletter. We will be going to a bi-monthly schedule from November, bringing you a ‘new look’ Makaton newsletter from January 2022. Get ready for exciting Makaton content, resources, news and more! Make sure you are subscribed, you won’t want to miss out.

(You need to be signed in to subscribe to Makaton News. Sign in or create a free account)


1st October 2021


Win an Advent calendar

Win an Advent calendar

Win a beautiful handmade felt Advent calendar with Makaton Symbols
The closing date for this competition wass 15th November 2021.

The Advent calendar: Makaton Symbols, doors, toys

To celebrate the start of Countdown to Christmas we are giving you the chance to win a beautiful handmade felt Advent calendar with Makaton Symbols. For each day during Advent there is a hand sewn Christmas character and corresponding symbol.

For your chance to win, head over to our Facebook page and leave a comment on our post telling us your favourite Makaton moment of the year. This could be for example a child using Makaton for the first time, a student using a choice board, your organisation becoming Makaton Friendly or enjoying our Monday Sign of the Week! We would love to hear your Makaton stories!

Please note this item contains small parts, use under supervision.

Terms and Conditions

  1. The promoter is: The Makaton Charity (company no. 06280108) whose registered office is at 66 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3LH.
  2. The competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged 18 years or over except employees of The Makaton Charity and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.
  3. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  4. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  5. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are via
  6. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified.
  7. Closing date for entry will be 15th November 2021. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
  8. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
  9. The rules of the competition and how to enter are as follows: Write a comment directly on the Facebook post stating your favourite Makaton moment of the year.
  10. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in any event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.
  11. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.
  12. The prize is as follows: Handmade felt Advent calendar with Makaton Symbols.
  13. The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.

10th November 2021


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