Voice Box

Voice Box 2017 finalists at Speaker's House, Westminster.
Voice Box 2017 finalists at Speaker’s House, Westminster.

Congratulations to all the finalists of this year’s Voice Box competition, which took place on 29 March 2017 at Speaker’s House, Westminster in London. The winner was Sam Harrison, 10 who attends Giffnock Primary School. He won the top prize – an iPad mini.

This is his winning joke:

There is a wide mouth frog that goes to Africa. He meets a giraffe and says to it: “What are you?”…The giraffe says: “I am a giraffe.”…. So the wide mouth frog says: “And what do you eat for dinner?”…. The giraffe replies: “I eat leaves off trees.” … Next, the wide mouth frog meets a lion and says to it: “What are you?”… The lion says: “I am a lion.”…. So the wide mouth frog says: “And what do you eat for dinner?”… The lion replies: “I eat antelope.” … Next, the wide mouth frog meets a boy and says to the boy: “What are you?”… The boy says: “I am a boy.”…. So the wide mouth frog says: “And what do you eat for dinner?”…. The boy says: “I eat wide mouth frogs.”…. The wide mouth frog says: “Oh, you don’t see many of those around here, do you?”

Voice Box 2017 winner, Sam Harrison with Kirsten Oswald MP
Voice Box 2017 winner, Sam Harrison with Kirsten Oswald MP

Before the final Sam said: “I am very excited about telling my joke in Parliament, I did not think I would make it this far.”

When asked what he would like to be when he grows up, Sam replied: “I would like to be an architect if I don’t become a professional footballer”

The two runners up were Jack Royall and Henry Chauhan. There were 20 finalists, unfortunately one of the finalists, Samuel Seddon couldn’t make the event.

View all the pictures from the event on Instagram

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What is Voice Box?

Voice Box is an annual national joke competition for mainstream and specialist schoolchildren, designed to raise awareness of the fun and importance of communication in a light-hearted and inclusive way. It is a joint initiative from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and The Communication Trust (TCT) and is held concurrently in England, Scotland and Wales. The RCSLT runs a separate competition in Northern Ireland called Voice Box NI.

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

Seven per cent of children aged about five years have specific speech and language impairment and a further 1.8% have speech, language and communication needs linked to other conditions, such as learning disability, cerebral palsy, and autism spectrum disorders.

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

Seven per cent of children aged about five years have specific speech and language impairment and a further 1.8% have speech, language and communication needs linked to other conditions, such as learning disability, cerebral palsy, and autism spectrum disorders.

John Bercow, Speaker of The House of Commons, said: “I am delighted to be able to host this wonderful event for the third year running. It is extremely important that children with speech, language and communication needs receive the support they require to reach their potential.”

Kirsten Oswald, MP for East Renfrewshire, who attended the event, added: “I am delighted to support Sam Harrison and Colm Donnelly at Voice Box. It has shown me how critical communication skills are in determining a child’s life chances. As a politician, speaking and listening is a vital part of my life and I really value the work done by teachers and speech and language therapists to enable others, including children, to communicate more easily.”

RCSLT Chief Executive Officer Kamini Gadhok MBE said: “Speech, language and communication difficulties are the most common type of special education need in 4 – 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 which is vital to improving their life chances.”

For more information and images please email: josephine.olley@rcslt.org