Northern Ireland Voice Box Awards 2011

The Senate Chamber at Stormont, more used to witnessing political debates, was the setting for the culmination of the RCSLT Giving Voice campaign in Northern Ireland on 8 November 2011. MLAs joined local children from both mainstream and specialist schools, for a fantastic joke-telling competition that celebrated the importance and the fun of communication.

It was appropriate that it was the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, William Hay MLA, who welcomed the children, parents, supporters and MLAs to the event, saying, “While [this] event is encouraging laughter, it is also very serious as well.”

Respected journalist, Eamonn Mallie was an energetic compere and encouraged the children, saying to them, “One day, someone in this room could be speaker of the Assembly.” The children and families also enjoyed a performance from entertainer, Dr Nick (possibly the first time plate-spinning and juggling have been seen at Stormont), and the MLAs entered into the spirit of the occasion with their own jokes, with John McCallister awarded the much-sought after title of funniest MLA for his efforts.

It was an incredibly positive way to bring together constituents and MLAs, while highlighting the importance of speech and language therapy, and a fitting way to round off the Giving Voice campaigning in Northern Ireland.

And the winning joke? Came from Voicebox champion, Robyn:

What do you call a donkey with 3 legs?
…A wonky!