Carol Chell, much loved children’s TV presenter, recently took part in the BBC’s Pointless programme teamed up with Johnny Ball. We are thrilled that Carol decided to nominate The Makaton Charity as her chosen charity. We asked her to share her Makaton story...
I joined BBC Play School in 1966 after being in the theatre and television drama since leaving the Royal Academy of Music (RAM). Play School was a dearly loved programme for the under-fives full of songs, stories, make and dos and nursery rhymes. We always spoke directly to the child encouraging them to join in with the actions.
Someone in the production team told us how her friend’s child with Down’s syndrome loved the actions as she was learning something called Makaton.
We found Margaret Walker [the original designer of the Makaton Programme] and so our Makaton journey began. Every time I could, I would incorporate a rhyme or story using Makaton signing and learn it from the experts at the charity. Our feedback was enormous and so encouraging.
Play School ended 1988 but we used Makaton when we were able in many of the other children’s programmes. This is when Justin Fletcher takes over and now I am thrilled to see the journey continuing.
So you see my charity had to be The Makaton Charity as I am so proud of my involvement in those early years and have seen first-hand your great results.