What a year it has been for Tayside’s Mike Carlin.
The speech and language therapy support worker and Makaton Tutor has been instrumental in the formation of the Sing It Sign It: Tayside Makaton Choir.
His achievements saw him presented with a national award by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).
The Giving Voice Award was presented in recognition of his dedication to raising awareness of people’s communication needs in Tayside and creating the new, inclusive choir in which Makaton users can participate.
The choir, started on in April 2017, already has 3 branches - in Dundee, Perth and Angus- and more than 120 members.
It has performed at major charity and social events and its video for World Down Syndrome Day created a major impression in the regional Press and has been viewed more than 20,000 times on Facebook.
RCSLT judges said they were impressed by Mike’s commitment to supporting people with communication difficulties and the positive impact the choir has had on people, creating a safe environment for them to develop their communication skills and confidence.
Mike followed this award with recognition by NHS Tayside in its annual STAR Awards in which he was named the Inspiring Educator and got a silver award in the Outstanding Individual (Clinical) category.
The honours kept coming in 2019 and he was a finalist in the NHS Scottish Health Awards categories for Support Worker and Unsung Hero.
Mike’s next, and ongoing, major challenge is to become a Regional Tutor in Makaton and to this end, he has started working with schools to make Dundee the Scotland’s first Makaton Friendly city.