Communication Matters Logo with Emily Campbell (CM), Anthony Lowe (University of Leeds) and Alex Santos (University of Leeds)

MEETinLEEDS have been working with Communication Matters since we helped them manage their first event in Leeds back in 2013.

A UK wide charity, Communication Matters, support people of all ages who find it hard to communicate because they have little or no clear speech. They support the right of individuals to participate in all aspects of life through the provision of specialist equipment and on-going support services.

Communication Matters rely heavily on the income from their events to help run the charity but this year things are a little different. All events for the charity have been cancelled due to the pandemic.

A picture of Toby Bruno, Communication Matters

Toby Bruno, Communication Matters

As part of the University of Leeds’s Positive Impact Partners programme, managed by colleagues in Sustainability and aimed at helping staff collaborate with local communities, MEETinLEEDS have been able to support Communication Matters who have been quick to adapt and set up a series of virtual events over October coinciding with Augmentative and Alternative Communication Awareness Month. These online sessions have used Aventri, the MEETinLEEDS event management software, and will help them raise awareness and vital funds for the charity. The sessions have both academic and social elements and are being held every Thursday in October.

Activities have involved a virtual balloon race, a virtual disco, a performance from the amazing ‘Sing Out Loud’ alongside keynote speakers and presentations.

MEETinLEEDS Event Manager, Anthony Lowe, is the key contact for Communication Matters, here’s what he had to say: “I have loved working with and getting to know the Communication Matters team over the years. We are privileged to support the work they do and always look forward to their events.

Although it’s sad that we haven’t been able to welcome their delegates to campus this year we are glad that we have been able to support them with their virtual sessions. As our Positive Impact Partner, we know how important their events are in generating income in order to run the charity and we are delighted that we are able to help them in a year that has been so difficult to raise vital funds.”

We look forward to welcoming our friends, Communication Matters, back to campus when it is safe to host live events again. In the meantime should you want to support the charity through donations, fundraising or stay up to date with any activities they are running please do visit the Communications Matters website or their Just Giving Page.