It's frustrating not being heard
Friday 24 April 2015

Picture Exchange Communication SystemThink of a time when you haven’t been heard, or you struggled to get your point across. Frustrating isn't it? Now consider how you'd feel if this was a daily occurrence.

This is always a challenge for me and my colleagues at Elm Tree Farm in Stapleton, as we offer support to a range of people with differing needs, but it’s a challenge we're all committed to overcoming.

So, I asked myself how we could best meet the communication needs of the many individuals that attend the services based on site. This was the reason behind my decision to apply for a grant from Quartet Community Foundation. QCF award grants to community-based charities and voluntary groups that make a real difference to people’s lives across the West of England, and that’s what we hopefully achieve at our unique Elm Tree Farm project!

I’m sure you can imagine how pleased I was to find that our application was successful and we'd been awarded over £1,000. The grant is being used to aid better communication for people we support, enabling us to offer better support to new people accessing our services.

We conducted some research and decided to use the funds to invest in a new system of communication; the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). PECS was developed in the mid 1980’s as a communication intervention package for individuals with autism and other related developmental disabilities.

PECS is a picture-based communication tool which does not require complex or expensive materials, and can be tailored to fit in with all our services at the farm. It was created with families, educators, and resident care providers in mind, so is readily used in a range of settings, hopefully making it perfect for the farm!

Keily Elvin
Project Coordinator