Mud, Sweat and Speechies

Giving Voice campaigner and speech and language therapist, Julie Copeland, shares her experience of mud, sweat and tears while participating in the Tough Mudder Half event in May….

On the 14 May, I joined 13 other therapists from Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust, to participate in the Tough Mudder Half event. Our team wanted to raise awareness of the excellent work that is done within the speech and language department and across the whole profession. We decided to join the Giving Voice campaign and promote the message that Speech and Language Therapy really does transform people’s lives.

Team ‘Mud, Sweat and Speechies’ consisted of 13 therapists and one admin assistant. We completed a five mile run with 15 obstacles and then navigated our way through lots of dirty water and smelly mud.

The event was difficult, extremely tiring, but also lots of fun. It wasn’t about getting to the finish line first, but working together and helping each other through. I was personally overwhelmed by the kindness of other people, those in our team and strangers who were willing to offer a hand. We all pulled together and helped each other through some terrifying obstacles.

We were able to generate such positivity and excitement about Giving Voice that we also decided to use this challenge to raise money for Operation Smile. This British charity sends surgical teams to repair cleft lips and palates across the world and to train local doctors so they can continue to provide aftercare.

The RCSLT kindly supported our event and provided £135 towards promotional materials including our high quality t-shirts. Due to the kindness and generosity of our colleagues, family and friends, we have managed to raise over £3,500 for our chosen charity.

A number of therapists have started to discuss the next Giving Voice events, we have already participated in a pub quiz and we have a brewery tour on the horizon. There is also the possibility of doing Tough Mudder in 2017, although I won’t suggest this one until the cuts, bruises and mental scars have healed!

Watch the video of Team Mud, Sweat and Speechies’ recent exploits

Author: Julie Copeland from Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust