MEETinLEEDS have hosted the Communication Matters conference since 2013, and over that time have had the privilege of building a fantastic partnership with the Communication Matters team, and the AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) community. The 34th AAC Conference was due to be held on 13-15th September 2020, but sadly had to be cancelled because of COVID-19. The conference is a brilliant opportunity for the AAC community to come together and learn and share knowledge about AAC, network and dance! Many AAC users have said how much they will miss the conference as it is like meeting up with family and they will especially miss the social aspects of the conference.
Communication Matters suffered a huge loss of income in 2020 and the charity remains under threat without significant funding this year. The 2020 Conference would have been their 34th anniversary and so, like that of the virtual London Marathon in 2020, they put together a challenge to encourage the AAC community to come together at this difficult time and raise much-needed funds for Communication Matters.
Their challenge was a 3.4 challenge at the halfway point in March 2021, between their 2020 and 2021 conferences. They encouraged people to think of an activity based around the numbers 34 or 3.4 and for them to complete it between 21 March – 3 April 2021. Completed activities included a 3-hour 40 minute talk-a-thon, sponsored walks and a 34 prize Easter hamper! Our own Sales and Marketing Manager took on the challenge and ran 3.4 miles a day for 13 days.
“In 2018 I had the privilege of attending the Conference Awards with Toby, and we were awarded Best Collaboration for our work together on their annual conference, and partnership activities through the year. Through the pandemic this conference activity, their main fundraising activity, has been paused; restricting the income and vital resources to support AAC users. I see first-hand the work Communication Matters do and the impact these events have on AAC users, and their families. I know the money I was able to raise will support their amazing work, and their even more amazing AAC community.” Harriet Boatwright
Emily Campbell, Communication Matters Charity Manager,
“Thank you to all our 3.4 challengers! We are so grateful to everyone who completed a #CMThreePointFourChallenge between 21st March and 3rd April and collectively raised over £2000 for Communication Matters! They are all amazing and it means so much to us that they chose to raise money for Communication Matters. Their support will make a big difference, thank you to everyone who took part, and to those who sponsored our fundraisers!”