We are delighted to announce that Romsey is the first town in the UK (and the whole world) to have been awarded the status of a ‘Makaton Friendly Town’. This means that there are over 30 organisations in Romsey who have learnt to use a sign language called Makaton. Makaton is based on British Sign Language (BSL) and natural gesture and is used with children and adults with lots of different communication difficulties in the UK.
So how did this happen?
Speaking Space is an organisation in Romsey that supports children and adults with communication difficulties. Most have a learning disability or autism, and many of them struggle to be independent out in the community because of their communication needs. Last year Speaking Space started offering free Makaton training sessions to organisations in Romsey who were interested in improving their skills in talking to customers who have a communication disability. The response was overwhelming with 31 organisations becoming Makaton Friendly which meant that we could apply to be a Makaton Friendly Town – something no other town in the UK has achieved. These have included the Romsey fire fighters, the police, doctor’s surgeries, pubs, tea rooms, shops, a building society and many more.