My quest to become a Regional Tutor for Makaton began in 1994 when I was a student social worker in London investigating an abuse case in a care home. I quickly discovered that all the residents could sign, and I couldn’t. Makaton was such a powerful communication tool for the professionals and residents who could sign. Its use was invaluable as part of the investigation to bring charges against the abusers (Longcare Scandal, Buckinghamshire). I then went on to qualify in 1996 under Margaret Walker MBE (founder of Makaton), and Jean Parratt senior adviser.
Since qualifying in 1996, I have gone on to teach more than 3,000 participants.
Setting up the very first Makaton Champion Scheme in Northern Ireland
- Awarding five Makaton Friendly Awards
- Cross Community training for West & East Belfast (Ledley Hall Youth Club)
- Demonstrating the Makaton Programme to the following courts: London High Court, Belfast High Court, Belfast Laganside Court, and Londonderry Crown Court
- Published articles in Community Care magazine (communicating with disabled people).
- Training a wide variety of companies, charities and health Trusts. Selections below:
- London Boroughs of Ealing, Enfield, Haringey, Lambeth and Richmond upon Thames
- In Northern Ireland the following Trusts: Southern Health and Social Care, Northern Health and Social Care, South Eastern Health and Social Care
- Sure Start, Contact-a-family, Praxis Care, Northern Ireland Police Service (PSNI), Mencap (in London and Northern Ireland), the Scout Association (HQ London), United Response, Bayis Sheli (Orthodox Jewish Community Residential Home in North London)
- A number of schools including Irish speaking schools in Belfast
- Setting up a Peer Tutor in Belfast
- Finally, and for a bit of fun, teaching/signing a few of the Spice Girls’ songs in Richmond Park, Surrey with Margaret Walker MBE, and Norma Wingfield (senior tutor/advisor) for a disability awareness weekend in 1999. (Holy Park).
A word of encouragement from Stephen Hall CEO of The Makaton Charity:
Grant, firstly, many thanks and congratulations for such sterling service. We couldn’t achieve what we do without the passion, enthusiasm, and hard work that you put in. So, a big thank you.
Makaton Regional (Licensed) Tutor - Established 1996
If you'd like to find out more about training to be a Makaton Tutor please visit our Become a Makaton Tutor page for more information on how to get started on your journey.