Young children with speech difficulties in Neath Port Talbot will feel less isolated thanks to South Wales Freemasons

Sixty children under five years old, across Neath Port Talbot will develop their speech, language and communication skills through forming friendships at an early age, thanks to a grant of £60,000 from South Wales Freemasons to Resolven Building Blocks Charity.

The grant will help Resolven run their Talk2Gether Service, which provides dedicated play sessions to children who have trouble communicating. The sessions will also focus on helping children to improve their social skills, and develop their emotional wellbeing. Resolven have found that these sessions can provide, on average, one years’ worth of development for children that attend over a 20 week period. These sessions can also reduce frustration and isolation, as well as improving the children’s emotional wellbeing.

Services of this kind are needed now more than ever, with recent research estimating 1.7 million children in the UK to be behind with talking and understanding words following the Covid-19 pandemic. Resolven want to help address this issue by giving early intervention support to help children build on these important skills and reach their full potential.

The grant from South Wales Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends from across England and Wales.

Shannon Chambers, Speech, Language and Communication Development Officer at Resolven Building Blocks, said:
“We’re very grateful to South Wales Freemasons for this grant. I’ve been working with children who have language difficulties for the last six years, and early intervention can have huge benefit. Children are often faced with long waiting lists for speech therapy, or in most cases do not qualify for any help at all, so the service the Freemasons are funding is more vital than ever.”

Robert Payne from South Wales Freemasons said:
“I’m very glad we’ve been able to help Resolven with their wonderful service that’s so important for these children and their families. The work they do to help children with language difficulties is truly remarkable and much-needed in our local communities. Our grant will help the charity continue their important work and make a real difference to the lives of young children and their families.”

Photo Left to Right : Merrick Jones (South Wales Freemasons), Shannon Chambers (Speech, Language and Communication Development Officer), Ceri Siddley (Training Officer), Rebecca Evans(Speech and Language Support Worker), Stacey Harris (Parenting Officer), Robert Payne (South Wales Freemasons)