Hi, I’m Hannah Chard, I am a mum, a Speech and Language therapist, and the founder of Find Your Voice Speech and Language therapy.
I strongly believe that communication is the basis for play, learning and building relationships. I’m dedicated to helping children fulfill their potential and empowering the important adults in their lives to know how to support them.
I highly value and respect the hardworking professionals of the NHS and after qualifying in 2010 (University of Reading) I worked in several NHS services, (Oxfordshire, South West Yorkshire and Leeds) and experienced the vast difference the right strategies and activities can make to families whose children are having difficulty developing communication skills. However, on a personal level, working in such an overstretched organisation was difficult and I became an Independent therapist in 2015. As an Independent therapist I really appreciate the time I am able to spend with individuals.
Another turning point came at the beginning of 2017 when I became a mum. This strengthened my understanding and appreciation for parents knowledge of their children and the positive impact they can have.
I value working alongside parents, childcare / education settings and other professionals to develop a culture that understands and promotes communication, enables me to understand the whole child and ultimately helps children to thrive and achieve.
I am passionate about providing a range of services to support the fundamentals of speech and language development, delivering enjoyable child-led provision supported by informed adults. Building strong foundations in communication right from the beginning (well almost – 6 months) through primary school and into the teenage years because communication is key to life!
How Sensory Storytime began...
As a mum, I am loving watching my son learn new skills. We enjoy attending baby / toddler groups to access a range of stimulating experiences (and also for a cup of coffee and a natter with other parents). Watching him learn to communicate has taught me yet more about speech and language development.
Whilst on maternity leave, I was worried about returning to work. Although I enjoyed the variety, challenge and reward of working as a Speech and Language therapist, I was a mum now and as many mum’s do, I was now fretting over whether my son was meeting his milestones. I wanted to spend as much time with him as possible, was I giving him what he needed? This is in spite of having knowledge and experience of supporting children’s development. Then, an ice breaker at a baby group I was attending with my son (then around 6 months old) inspired me. We were asked what we did / do, other than being a parent. On explaining I was a Speech and Language therapist the group leader lit up and said she thought this is a great role. The funny thing was, I looked at her and thought, actually, I like the idea of what you are doing. She was bringing parents together and supporting interaction with our babies. What a great way to share your skills on a broader scale and provide reassurance to fellow parents! There’s a host of research about how parents can support children’s early development with books and in play, why not transform this into baby and toddler groups to support all parents build their knowledge and confidence, have a safe space to share any concerns and enjoy some coffee, cake! I am very much still on the journey towards making this work, having very little business experience and a now 2 year old means it’s a slow process but I love this new aspect to my role.