I am a Senior Tutor for The Makaton Charity. I do work with CBeebies as one of the Makaton advisors on Something Special. When asked about doing a bedtime story using Makaton I was beyond excited, as I knew it was to be the first ever!
All the dates, times, venue, people and signs had all been co-ordinated. It was certainly going ahead, Ten in the Bed was going to be amazing!
We arrived at the venue and the CBeebies crew had the scene beautifully set for the story. There were ten teddy friends waiting for a bedtime story.
So, in walked Rob Delaney, actor, comedian, I could go on but he was here as a dad, to share a wonderful signed story with everyone.
Rob was very excited to be doing this as it meant so much to him, and his family. The whole family had learnt Makaton to communicate with their son Henry. Rob shared his experiences, both the pleasure and more painful times. Their son Henry had passed away earlier in the year but was never away from their thoughts, this was going to be an emotional one.
We had some practice time, and his signing was great. He had clearly revised the story and demonstrated all the signs well. During this time we had many little chats about Henry, one being that he would have loved for him to be here to see this. However now he can do this to help so many others to enjoy the pleasure of a signed story. I knew then that no words or actions would benefit either of us, it was time to just listen, while this amazing dad shared his personal experiences.
Time for the story. We did a few takes, not too many but he really wanted to get it right. He signed and told the story, just as it was meant to be. Directly to all those individuals out there watching, enjoying and hopefully to join in. The whole crew came along on this magical rollercoaster of emotions, we all laughed, cried, sighed, whooped and awed. It is truly an experience that will stay with me forever.
The launch for the story was just incredible, it was receiving so much press and attention. The story was shown just before Children in Need on the CBeebies channel. The Makaton Charity had also put together a free download of the signs and symbols needed for the story. You could prepare and practice your bedtime story before watching it, so beneficial for so many. I sat and watched as the story unfolded and hoped that it would bring so much pleasure and support to so many.
Wow... what a response everyone has received from the story. Social media, news, interviews, photos, feedback and films of people just enjoying 10 in the Bed.
I was certainly bursting with pride over this one; it has, and will always be very special to me. Thank you to all the crew at CBeebies, all the people in the background at The Makaton Charity, without these people none of this would be possible.
Finally, thank you Rob Delaney this one is definitely one to remember!
The bedtime story generated so much interest that Tracy was interviewed on BBC News about it: