The latest news from The Makaton Charity.

Sign & Symbol Downloads - NOW AVAILABLE

Sign & Symbol Downloads - NOW AVAILABLE

Cheerful baby wearing a colourful stripy cardigan

We have been listening to your feedback over the past 3 weeks and it’s wonderful to see so many of you enjoying your access to Makaton Signs and Symbols housed in the NEW Makaton Library. We have also had positive reports of many users gaining support and guidance through the exclusive MakaChat social area.

A common thread of feedback that we received was the desire to download Signs and Symbols within the Makaton Library, on reflection we too think this would be a fabulous addition.

With immediate affect we have introduced the new capability to enable you to download up to 40 signs and symbols per month* to support your Makaton journey – Enjoy!

Not a member yet?  Then you are missing out…..

If you would like to have a 7 day free trial of the new Core Membership, please sign up for a free account  then go to the Membership page . Click the 7 day free trial link and you will have access to over 500 Makaton Signs and Symbols, download options and entry into the Core Member MakaChat discussion group.

* You can download any combination of signs, symbols and PDF files, up to 40 per month. For example: 40 signs; or 20 signs and 20 symbols; or 15 signs, 15 symbols and 10 PDF files etc.


22nd September 2020


Back to school: special offers

Back to school: special offers

SALE: 20% off selected resources

This promotion ended on 30th September 2020.

To celebrate the return to school, we're giving 20% off the cost of selected resources until Wednesday 30th September 2020. Just add one or more of the resources listed below into your shopping cart, go to the checkout, type the code BACK2SCHOOL in to the promotional code field, and click Apply to get 20% off all the eligible products.

Screenshot of checkout showing BACK2SCHOOL code in the promotional code field


The special offer applies to the following resources:

Downloadable resources


21st August 2020


Win a Mr Tumble Talk and Sing Soft Toy!

Win a Mr Tumble Talk and Sing Soft Toy!

Win a Mr Tumble Talk and Sing Soft Toy!

The deadline for this competition was 30th September 2020.

To celebrate the launch of the Makaton Hub we are giving you the chance to win a Mr Tumble Talk and Sing Soft Toy.

For a chance to win head over to our Facebook page and comment on our post, telling us your favourite Makaton symbol or sign!

Terms and Conditions

  1. The promoter is: The Makaton Charity (company no. 06280108)whose registered office is at 66 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3LH.
  2. The competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged 18 years or over except employees of The Makaton Charity and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.
  3. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  4. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  5. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are via
  6. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified.
  7. Closing date for entry will be 30th September 2020. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
  8. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
  9. The rules of the competition and how to enter are as follows: Write a comment directly on the Facebookpost stating your favourite Makaton sign.
  10. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in any event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.
  11. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.
  12. The prize is as follows: Mr Tumble Talk and Sing Soft Toy.
  13. The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.
  14. Winners will be chosenat random by software, from all entries received and verified by The Makaton Charity.
  15. The winners will be notified by DM on Facebook within 28 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
  16. The Makaton Charity will notify the winners when and where the prize can be collected / is delivered.
  17. The Makaton Charity’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will beentered into.
  18. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  19. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.
  20. The winners agree to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
  21. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
  22. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other Social Network. You are providing your information to The Makaton Charity and not to any other party.

22nd August 2020


Meet the Makaton Ambassadors

Meet the Makaton Ambassadors

Peter Rooney, Makaton Ambassador

We would like to congratulate and celebrate the success of the new Makaton Ambassadors being welcomed onboard to support with a wide variety of areas with their skill and expertise.

They are the first cohort of Ambassadors to be announced since our founder Margaret Walker left her legacy of our Senior Tutors, who continue to strive to maintain the quality of the Makaton Language Programme and continue to pass on the knowledge to our Ambassadors. You will see our Ambassadors out about in the community supporting the development of Makaton across all possible aspects.


19th August 2020


Welcome to our new website

Welcome to our new website


Stephen signing OKThe new Makaton website heralds an exciting chapter for The Makaton Charity. Over the past 6 months, in addition to developing online training and launching the revised Level 3 workshop guides and manuals, the team at Makaton head office have been beavering away to get our new and interactive website up and running.

This has ensured that the charity has both successfully weathered the Covid storm, while also starting us on Our Vision to ‘Double the number of people using and engaging with the Makaton language programme’.

What’s new?

The new website provides a range of additional functionality, including easier access to free resources and downloads, including current and back copies of Sign of the Week. The website offers improved self-service, with the ability to track your relationship with the Charity, download invoices, and where appropriate pay by Purchase Order, together with enhanced searching to help you find local and online training in your area.

Later in the month, we will be launching our new Makaton membership scheme, open to the public. The membership scheme will for the first time offer users direct access into the Makaton Library and MakaChat social area. The Makaton Library enables users to search our database of signs, symbols, and videos. MakaChat provides a Charity-approved facility to contact and ask questions to our team of experienced tutor ambassadors.

Expanding the Makaton Library

We will be setting out our aspirations for new products and services. These will include expanding the searchable database from our Core Vocabulary collection to include our full Resource database, with over 65,000 assets, supporting over 15,000 sign and symbol concepts. Makaton will be creating one of the largest digital searchable sign and symbol databases in the world.

New initiatives and aspirations

Longer term we are working on a range of new and exciting initiatives; from online booking where you will be able to register and pay for Tutors run courses to offering a self-service templating, where you will be able to develop your own Makaton forms and materials. We will be rolling out new and exciting online and face to face refresher training and practice sessions, so you can feel more confident using Makaton more fluently.

Finally following your feedback we are working with a range of third-party providers to better link the Makaton language programme with existing online and app-based provision, with the aim of making Makaton one of the best integrated language programmes.

Digital vs Traditional

While this is an exciting and significant step into a digital world, we are not forgetting the importance of direct delivery and the support that a face to face environment can offer, that is why we will be developing the digital alongside the more traditional teaching methods. Keep an eye out for the launch of the new Level 4 workshop, together with new signs and symbols to better meet the needs of our diverse community base.

Help and support

Do have a look at the website, it is well worth it.

If you do find things that aren’t quite right or if you need any support using the website, please drop us a note on the ‘Contact Us’ through the ‘Help’ icon on the website, or email our help desk team at, and our wonderful Makaton team will be on the case.

Thank you once again for your support, do keeping a look-out for new developments and releases coming soon and enjoy browsing our new website and library hub.

Happy browsing.. and do keep signing!


Stephen Hall

CEO, The Makaton Charity

4th August 2020


Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter


The Charity is saddened by the challenges and prejudice still faced by Black members of the community. As an organisation we stand together with the victims of marginalisation and repression because of their race, and with those who seek change. At Makaton we value equality and inclusion, and Makaton is a language programme for everyone. As a Charity we are striving to expand accessibility to help everybody communicate effectively from all backgrounds.

We are committed to developing an enhanced cultural mix of support materials and where appropriate widen our language programme to reflect diversity. The recent events have made The Makaton Charity look at our own responsibilities, and we hope to meet the highest expectations of change and inclusion within our communication system.

We would like to show you some signs to help you support the #BlackLivesMatter movement:


11th June 2020


Covid-19 advice

Covid-19 advice

Lily washing her hands

Nic and Lily show us how to wash our hands properly, and explain what is meant by social distancing. Thanks to Makaton Tutor Nicola Pike for making these videos.




14th April 2020


Coronavirus / Covid-19 Signs

Coronavirus / Covid-19 Signs

Hannah signing Hello

Hannah shows us a few useful signs to support you in identifying some symptoms of Coronavirus / Covid-19.


9th April 2020


An update from The Makaton Charity

An update from The Makaton Charity


Stephen Hall, Chief Executive of The Makaton Charity, gives an update on how we at the Charity are working to support you, our wider Makaton family, during the current situation.


Transcript of the video

Hi my name is Stephen and I’m the Chief Executive at The Makaton Charity and I want to update you on how we at the Charity are working to support you, our wider Makaton family.

This past week has seen a seismic change to all our lives, with schools closed, travel and movement restricted, and families and love ones separates in ways we would not even have considered possible even a few days ago.

This is a frightening and unnerving experience for everyone, but even more so for those with a learning disability or communication need; and we at the Makaton Charity are committed to doing all we can to support our community of users and the wider network of tutors, to get through this period.

Over the past week, The Makaton Charity has been working hard to establish an effective remote working environment, and I’m pleased to confirm that we are now fully operational, with all telephone lines and emails working, and our online ordering and product dispatch systems fully in place.

But we now need to up our game even more, with our community effectively locked down, we are working to provide an ever growing range of digital support and services to our network, with weekly downloadable resources for parents and families on our website, sign posting to key partner activity, such as those provided by Singing Hands; together with a growing list of support materials developed and shared via the wider tutor network.

This time at home, also provides a unique opportunity to move the learning of Makaton into an online environment. So, I can confirm that we are running a number of pilot Webinars this week, based around the Zoom platform. Over the next few days these pilots will feed into the same formal guidance for our tutor network, so that over the coming weeks more people can learn and refresh their knowledge of the Makaton language programme. So that we can ensure that the excellent standards of learning delivery are maintained, can I ask our Tutor network to hold fire on web-based delivery until these guidelines are published early next week.

But we need to go further still, I’m therefore pleased to confirm that we are ramping up our efforts to setup and deploy our Makaton Hub initiative. This will for the first time provide Users and Tutors alike with a central place to advertise and book onto Makaton network trainings, be that online or face2face; together with a membership platform providing a central space where individuals who use Makaton will be able to come together and share ideas and resources and access and search our database of  over 14,000 signs, symbols and videos. Testing will start soon, so if you are interested in helping us to develop and test this exciting resource, keep an eye on our website for further information on how you could get involved.

In closing, can I thank everyone for their many of emails, texts and Facebook posts of support and encouragement. We at the Charity are committed to do our bit to help our community and nation get through this difficult time, and as a plea to our innovative tutor network – if you have any downloads or materials you would like to share, do email them to the office and we will make them freely available and credit you for the idea provided.

Announcements are coming each week via Facebook, Twitter and our website so keep checking, and I would encourage you if you are not already sign up to join the Makaton Newsletter which can be found on our website.

Thanks for everything you are doing, collectively we can get through this. Keep safe and keep signing.

Thanks for listening


26th March 2020


The Tiger Who Came To Tea

The Tiger Who Came To Tea

Mother signing to her daughter

This World Book Day, four organisations who champion Makaton as a communication method have come together to create a video to tell Judith Kerr’s children’s classic The Tiger Who Came To Tea in Makaton, making it more accessible to children and young people with additional needs.


The organisations, Family Fund, The Makaton Charity , Singing Hands and Wouldn’t Change a Thing, have produced the video, which is free to view, with the help of supporters and families raising children who use Makaton to communicate. There’s also a guest appearance from CBeebies’ Justin Fletcher AKA Mr Tumble.

Makaton is a unique language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate. It supports the development of essential communication skills such as attention and listening, comprehension, memory, recall and organisation of language and expression.

Following last year’s successful translation of Julia Donaldson’s, The Snail and the Whale for World Book Day, the organisations wanted to continue highlighting the importance of making children’s storytelling inclusive on a day that is important in many families’ calendars.

Cheryl Ward, Chief Executive at Family Fund; “World Book Day provides us with an opportunity to celebrate something that all children love - stories. Being able to communicate is one of the most important skills needed in life. So, when a story is told to a child in a language they understand it can open up a window to a new world.”

‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea’ was written by Judith Kerr, and originally published in 1968. It has sold over 5 million copies and been translated into at least 11 languages. A TV adaptation was shown by Channel 4 on Christmas Eve 2019.


5th March 2020


Sport Relief: It's Game On

Sport Relief: It's Game On

Suzanne from Singing Hands

We've teamed up with Sport Relief, Singing Hands and Out of the Ark Music to create a Makaton-signed version of this year’s Sport Relief song, It’s Game On.


4th March 2020


The One Show

The One Show

Isabella with Alex Jones and Matt Baker

Isabella with Alex Jones and Matt BakerOn Wednesday 22nd January, The Makaton Charity helped The One Show surprise a young Makaton supporter.

Isabella is 14 and has a younger brother, Lucus, who uses Makaton. In the last two years Isabella has used social media platforms to help raise awareness of Makaton, by sharing videos of her signing along to popular songs.

The One Show saw Isabella's videos and asked The Makaton Charity to help celebrate all of her hard work with a special surprise to say thank you.

Isabella with Alex Jones and Matt BakerDirector of The Makaton Language Programme Zanna Finnerty attended a filming session at Redriff Primary School along with Dave Benson Phillips, patron of the Makaton Charity, to help film the surprise for Isabella.

Zanna said "I love my job - I am so pleased that we managed to pull it off. After being involved in lots of work and secret codes with only 2 days notice, we filmed the surprise for our young Makaton supporter Isabella. Isabella came along to a session where we were having fun with Makaton in a primary school.

"Whilst watching the iconic Dave Benson Phillips clip of Goldilocks, he walked in and sat next to Isabella. It took a while for her to realise what was going on but she was thrilled to hear that she was getting an opportunity to talk about how Makaton changed her family’s life on BBC The One Show. She did not have a clue what we were up to, and she was in total awe and overwhelmed when she met her idol Louis Tomlinson.

Zanna and Dave Benson PhillipsIsabella was not the only one to get to meet her hero. This was my first time meeting Dave Benson Phillips. Anyone in the Makaton world will know how cool that is.

"Well done Isabella - you did really well and I am sorry for talking Makaton all day, in between filming. I hope it’s all helped you understand the Makaton Language Programme and how to use it. It was a pleasure to finally meet you and your beautiful mum and family. Always think The Core Vocabulary first and Keep Signing"

Read more about Isabella's Makaton journey .


29th January 2020


Countdown to Christmas 2019

Countdown to Christmas 2019

Mother and daughter in Christmas hats

A massive thank you to everyone who took part in our Countdown to Christmas. Your videos have been watched more than 260,000 times, which is the most views we’ve ever had during Advent!

To help you get through the dark days of January we’ve put together a few highlights and outtakes. Enjoy!


7th January 2020


Margaret Walker: Pride of Britain

Margaret Walker: Pride of Britain

Margaret Walker with Strictly Come Dancing stars

We are delighted to announce that Margaret Walker, founder of the Makaton Language Programme, has won the Pride of Britain, Special Recognition Award for her dedication to and creation of Makaton.

The ceremony was held on Monday 28th October 2019.


Zanna Finnerty, Director of the Makaton Language Programme and Senior Makaton Tutor, attended the ceremony. She said:

"It was a wonderful night celebrating people of all ages, who go above and beyond to enrich other people’s lives. Watching Margaret receive her award was one of my proudest moments. I was in a room with hundreds of celebrities but the fact I was there with Margaret was already my dream come true.

Sue Sjuve, Zanna Finnerty, Terri Demir, Evren Demir, Margaret Walker, Ian Walker

"As a surprise to Margaret I stood on the stage and taught the audience to sign a message of thanks. It was terrifying but an absolute honour to play a part in the tribute to the amazing Margaret Walker and have the opportunity to share the occasion with her.

Margaret with Strictly Come Dancing stars Oti, Shirley and Craig"Much to my excitement the stars of BBC Strictly Come Dancing awarded Margaret with her trophy”

Please join us in sending our warmest congratulations to Margaret and to all of the other well-deserved winners.

See also: A brief history of MakatonMargaret explains how Makaton was first developed


29th October 2020