waht we do

What we do and why


Meet the team


What we do and why

Help Kids Talk is a project within Early Intervention Lisburn (EIL) which is led by the Resurgam Community Development Trust, the SEHSCT Speech and Language Therapy Team, Barnardos NI, and Early Intervention Lisburn partnership. The Help Kids Talk vision is that “everyone will work together to help kids talk”.

The project is a community-wide initiative and aims to ensure everyone who has any responsibility for a child prioritises speech, language, and communication development. This project will result in a positive impact across all areas of a child’s life including educational attainment, mental health and wellbeing, social relationships, and employability later in life.

Act Early, Support Parents, Achieve more

Why is this project important?

In some of the most disadvantaged areas of Northern Ireland, research has shown that a high proportion of children are starting pre-school with language needs and difficulties. In 2016 the SEHSCT carried out research in on 172 children in socio-economically deprived areas of the SEHSCT and found that 26% of these children had difficulty in at least 1 area of language.

Research carried out by Early Intervention Lisburn in 2013 in 9 Lisburn primary schools highlighted that 32% of children entering Primary 1 in September 2013 had a mild to severe speech and language difficulty. 76% of these children were male, from more disadvantaged communities in Lisburn.

Language problem, literacy problem, behaviour problem

Similar statistics in Northern Ireland have shown that in some of the most disadvantaged communities in Northern Ireland over 40% of children are starting pre-school with language delay or difficulty. We know that children with speech, language, and communication issues are at high risk of experiencing difficulties with reading, writing, and spelling.

We also know that the range of a child’s vocabulary at age 5 is a very strong predictor of qualifications at school leaving age, and without support, over 1/3 of children with speech, language, and communication issues go on to have support from mental health services later in life.

Our Team

Help Kids Talk is a community wide partnership. Our steering group is comprised of representatives from across community, voluntary, statutory and private sectors including; BarnardosNI, Surestart, Home-Start, Northern Ireland Childminding Association, Public Health Agency, South Eastern HSC Trust (Speech and Language Therapy Team, Health Visiting and Health Improvement) LibrariesNI, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy, principals from local nurseries and schools, local church leaders and a grandmother. We also have a parent representative group and involve local children and young people too. Everyone works together to collectively plan and make shared decisions to improve outcomes for children and young people.

Sarah Ratcliffe

Sarah Ratcliffe

Help Kids Talk Coordinator Find out more
Mabel Scullion

Mabel Scullion

Early Intervention Lisburn Manager Find out more
Lisa McMahon

Lisa McMahon

Service Administrator Find out more

Extremely Beneficial

“We found Help Kids Talk extremely beneficial to the families that engaged in it.  The parents have said that the key messages are relevant and easy to remember.”

Carrie Larmour, Barnardos Parent and Infant Project Team Leader

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