Eat to the beat!

Photo of Dysphagia Picnic (in HCS Group Room)

Lucy Dyson and HCS students held a dysphagia picnic on European Swallowing Awareness Day 2017 to encourage people to think about swallowing difficulties. People had the opportunity to sample and learn about foods of different textures including yogurt, sponge with custard, jam sandwiches without crusts and normal texture crisps and breadsticks, and all to a dysphagia soundtrack, including Blondie - Eat To The Beat!

The most popular aspect of the picnic was the bar. To experience thickened fluids for themselves people selected a fluid consistency from Stage 1-3 from a picnic hamper lucky dip. Some aspiring SLTs were eager to try all three!

Attendees considered how they would feel if their diet was modified – whether temporarily or permanently – and identified favourite foods they would miss, such as chocolate biscuits.

By hosting the picnic, HCS helped promote a wider understanding of the role of speech and language therapists in working with people with swallowing problems and a greater insight into the effects dysphagia may have on a person’s day to day quality of life. People shared their experiences on social media and we made a YouTube video about the event to raise further awareness.

Jade Young, Lucy Dyson, Elizabeth Woolfenden & Jack Schofield at Sheffield Leader 2017

The event was recognised by The Sheffield Leader at The University of Sheffield, for being an imaginative and innovative teaching event. On 5th April 2017, Lucy Dyson, Jack Schofield, Lizzie Woolfenden and Jade Young ran a second dysphagia picnic at the Sheffield Leader Community Event in Firth Hall and continued to spread the word about swallowing problems and speech and language therapy!

A big HCS thank you to all involved!