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Running a Conversation Partner Scheme (2-day course)

Set up your own cost-effective conversation partner scheme using volunteers trained by people with communication disability

'It's a long time since I went on a course when I really didn't want to miss any moment of it - thank you!' Speech and Language Therapist, October 2007

It is often a challenge to offer a meaningful long-term support service to people with stroke and aphasia, once traditional one-to-one therapy services have come to an end. It can be especially hard if the person has severe aphasia or is isolated.  This course provides a solution – learn how to run a workable cost-effective scheme to tackle the isolation of communication disability by using volunteers.

This scheme is a tools-and-training package – a new style of learning at Connect.

The toolkit includes:

  • ideas for how to recruit volunteers
  • advice on how to engage people with aphasia in your training
  • guidelines for best practice
  • advice sheets for volunteers
  • tips to address risk management
  • examples of referral procedures and letters
  • ideas and questionnaires to help you evaluate the scheme
  • step-by-step examples of how to train others

Who is the course for?

This course is ideal for individuals and teams in a wide range of settings, universities or voluntary organisations.

What will you get from attending this course?

  • You will gain practical ideas for reducing the isolation of those living with communication disability – often the most hard to reach clients
  • You will revisit your communication skills with people with communication disability
  • You will learn how to train others to improve their skills
  • You will learn how to recruit, supervise, manage and support volunteers to develop their skills
  • You will gain skills to successfully manage the organisation and administration needed for the scheme
  • You will learn how to evaluate the scheme and report back to others

Feedback from people involved in the research and piloting of the scheme

“(the person with aphasia) was shown a number of possibilities for expanding his world and offered significant support to access these … in my opinion he has been offered an excellent, potentially life-changing opportunity by the conversation partner” stroke service provider

“No question that it does offer long term support and… it helps to build confidence that we couldn't otherwise do” stroke service provider

More confident in having conversation” person with aphasia

“speech better” person with aphasia

“things to chat…I could pronounce. Felt like an opportunity to practise talking”

“this scheme changed the quality of her life” relative of person with aphasia 

Feedback from delegates

'Excellent basis to work on. Splendid materials (the Toolkit) and well structured - through set-up of training, supervision and evaluation', delegate (October 2007)

'Excellent, positive, energising, gives food for thought - keen to set up a scheme', Speech and Language Therapist, October 2007

The Conversation Partner Toolkit (includes a DVD and CD-Rom)

You will learn, practise and discuss the process with others and then use the toolkit (manuals, handouts, video/DVD and CD-Rom) - yours to take away and implement in your setting. You will fine-tune your own skills and you will leave with the skills to guide and train others in your work place.

This course has been extensively researched and developed in collaboration with people living with stroke and aphasia, and piloted with service providers across the UK and Eire.

Print your own pdf copy of the course details

Running a Conversation Partner Scheme (2 day) course details (46 kb)

Quick info

14 December 2009

10.00am - 4.30pm

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Connect, 16-18 Marshalsea Road, London SE1 1HL

Enhance your skills and service courses – boost your skills and change the direction of your stroke services