School­girl’s win­ning joke has an im­por­tant mes­sage

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Spotlight On Health -

An Ash­ford school­girl was all smiles af­ter reach­ing the fi­nal of the Voice Box com­edy awards.

Since last au­tumn, hun­dreds of chil­dren have taken part in Voice Box – the joke-telling com­pe­ti­tion for schools in Eng­land, Scot­land and Wales.

A to­tal of 20 made it through to the fi­nal at Speaker’s House, West­min­ster, on March 29 and among the fi­nal­ists was Ash­ford school­girl Eleanor Madlin.

Eleanor, 13, who at­tends The Wyvern School in Ash­ford, de­lighted the packed au­di­ence of politi­cians, par­ents and chil­dren with her joke: what do you get when you cross breed a shark with a cow? … I don’t know but I wouldn’t want to milk it.

Eleanor, who was pre­sented with a Voice Box fi­nal­ist cer­tifi­cate, said that she was de­lighted to rep­re­sent her school in the com­pe­ti­tion.

She said: “I have been look­ing for­ward to tour­ing the Houses of Par­lia­ment and learn­ing more about their his­tory, meet­ing new friends and, hope­fully, mak­ing them laugh with my joke.”

Eleanor is hop­ing to be a cook or to work de­sign­ing com­puter games when she leaves school.

Voice Box is an an­nual com­pe­ti­tion, or­gan­ised by the Royal Col­lege of Speech and Lan­guage Ther­a­pists (RCSLT) and part- nered by The Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Trust. It aims to re­mind peo­ple that there are chil­dren in ev­ery class­room who need sup­port to help them speak and un­der­stand what is be­ing said to them.

Nearly 20% of the pop­u­la­tion may ex­pe­ri­ence com­mu­ni­ca­tion dif­fi­cul­ties in their lives.

Speaker of the House of Com­mons John Ber­cow said: “I was de­lighted to host this won­der­ful event for the third year run­ning.”

RCSLT chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Kamini Gad­hok added: “Speech, lan­guage and com­mu­ni­ca­tion dif­fi­cul­ties are the most com­mon type of spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion need in four to 11-year-old chil­dren.

“How­ever, with the right help and sup­port, chil­dren can im­prove their so­cial skills, peer re­la­tion­ships and self-con­fi­dence, and ac­cess ed­u­ca­tion.”

Joke com­pe­ti­tion fi­nal­ist Eleanor Madlin, 13, is pre­sented with a cer­tifi­cate by Kamini Gad­hok

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.