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Cardiff ‘Live Loud’ project overview

What is the ‘Live Loud’ project?

’Live Loud’ involves the development and delivery of a fortnightly communication support group for people with Parkinson’s living in the Cardiff and Vale Local Health Board area who have a Parkinson’s related communication impairment.

It will focus on supporting individuals to improve their speech by practising their voice in a fun, informal and supportive environment with others who are experiencing similar difficulties.

How will the project be delivered?

The project will provide fortnightly communication support sessions using an accessible community venue. Beneficiaries will be supported by a cohort of trained volunteers, including Speech and Language students from Cardiff University who will be recruited and trained in the coming months to deliver appropriate activities during sessions.

Training will be delivered by the Speech and Language Department of Cardiff Metropolitan University, the Local Health Board’s Speech and Language Therapy staff and local Parkinson’s UK staff .  Training will comprise of:

–       The online Parkinson’s UK Volunteer induction

–       Organisational information from Parkinson’s UK Volunteer Co-ordinator related to volunteering with the Charity

–       Information from the Parkinson’s UK ADM for South Wales on the wider work of the Charity and other local services.

–       Visits to local Parkinson’s UK groups to gain understanding of the impact of living with Parkinson’s education about the clinical features of Parkinson’s disease

–       Training in the support techniques and activities that will be used during the project

Why are we developing this project?

The ability to communicate verbally is something that many of us take for granted.  Over 80% of people with Parkinson’s experience a voice or speech disorder with weakness or quietness reported as the main concern and this can have a huge impact of the individual’s quality of life.

These difficulties mean that many people with Parkinson’s are less confident communicators, less likely to engage in conversation and may be at risk of social isolation.  The project which is the first of its kind in Wales for people with Parkinson’s is a direct response to these needs.

The ‘Live Loud’ project will help  people improve their vocal intensity and quality of speech through the practice of key sounds, phrases and techniques in a supportive group setting.

Key anticipated outcomes of the project and how they will be measured

Key anticipated outcomes for the project will include:

  • An improvement in project participants’ vocal loudness
  • An improvement in participants’ confidence to communicate with others
  • An improvement in individual’s quality of life due to enhanced mutual support and an increase in social networks
  • Participants reporting an enhanced awareness of techniques to use to improve their voice
  • An increase in participants’ level of engagement in social and community activities as a result of increased confidence in their communication skills

These outcomes will be measured by asking participants to complete a pre-project questionnaire prior to starting the project and repeating this after three months to assess the impact the project has made on their communication skills and their quality of life.

Every potential beneficiary will also be assessed by the Speech and Language Therapist to screen for cognitive or physical impairments which would make this project unsuitable for that person.  The level of the individual’s vocal impairment will also be measured by taking decibel readings for each beneficiary prior to starting the project and three months after starting the project.

Anticipated start date for the project

October 2016

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