Actress cooks up support for language skills
Children at Bayswater Children’s Centre received prizes of cooking equipment from actress Tamsin Greig today at a special graduation.
It was held to celebrate the progress they have made in developing their language skills through cooking together with their parents.
“It’s such a pleasure to meet the children and parents here today and to see the results of all their hard work,” said Tamsin. “Really good communication skills are essential to everyone, not just actors like me, to be able to take part fully in life. It’s good to see first-hand that there are some fun and useful ways to help children to reach their potential.”
The speech and language therapy team working at the Children’s Centre use cooking sessions and home learning videos as a way to help children who are finding it difficult to develop their speech and language skills. The team is a jointly funded operation between the Central London Community Healthcare (CLCH) NHS Trust and Westminster City Council.
Over 30% of young children in Westminster need support in learning to understand and talk. Current research shows that children are more likely to develop good communication skills if families are supported to talk together during everyday activities such as mealtimes.
Liz Lowton, principal speech and language therapist at CLCH, said: “We are a specialist NHS trust that works in local communities and we are always looking for the most creative ways to support the families we work with. Developing good speech and language skills in the early years is of vital importance – it lays the foundation for all future learning. We are delighted that our new cooking initiative has been so successful”.
Westminster City Council’s cabinet member for children, young people and community protection, Cllr Nickie Aiken, said: “This is a fantastic scheme that helps children improve their speech and language skills in the familiar scenario of learning cookery with their families. I know the children are thrilled to meet Tamsin Greig, and it’s a wonderful way for them to celebrate their achievements after all their hard work.”
The children are now looking forward to doing lots more talking and cooking with their new cooking equipment at home!