It seemed like an ordinary day in October 2015. Except that today was the annual Younger Street Silent Morning Tea.
The sound of silence came over Younger St, as thirteen staff members from Williams Rd and Younger St all desperately tried not to speak. All were trying to introduce themselves to each other through other methods of communication.
Even before the event commenced Moz introduced Ms D Tape (Duct Tape) to all staff with gentle threats that she would be used if spoken words were heard. No one needed a second reminder!
There were a variety of games that the staff participated in.
The first game was Communication Whispers
|Ben drawing his chosen word||Martina using the alphabet board to show Juliana what she thought Ben’s word was…|
|…well, Juliana and Martina didn’t get it, Richard thought he knew the answer and called Kelvin to help him out!||Here is Meredith giving the group another word to guess.|
Paul, Kelvin and Richard trying to guess who they are.
Tracey acting out the phrase “barking up the wrong tree” which we all were for a while!
Staff used many different methods of communication to get their message across including:
- Drawing – a very artistic group of staff (even Leonardo Da Vinci would be proud of their artwork)
- Acting/role playing – “And the Oscar goes to the whole team that made it possible”. Mind you, some of the facial expressions and body language/gestures were hard to put into words – you had to be there to see it. Definitely plenty of laughter.
- Gestures – actually pointing to the object (cake, coffee etc.) to communicate what they wanted.
As well as working incredibly hard at finding alternative ways of communicating, all participants were treated to a delicious morning tea of cakes and slices. Most of us had no difficulty in letting our hosts know what we would like to eat and drink!
A lot of different emotions and excitement came over Younger Street on that particular morning, but laughter, enjoyment and a sense of pride in the successes that a diverse group of people had achieved were the main ones.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of Younger Street, Williams Road staff and Meredith Lane (East Hume Regional Communication Service Speech Therapist from Gateway Health) who made Silent Morning Tea October 2015 possible and another success.
Again, thanks to all who made this possible.
by Moz Cabai,
Acting House Manager, Younger Street, Wangaratta