Schoolgirl’s winning joke has an important message
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