Health and Care’s Top 70 Stars

Kim Jenkins

Kim has an outstanding commitment to the needs of young people with speech, language and communication needs. This commitment is reflected in the work she does in Neath Port Talbot in collaboration with the charity AFASIC to provide a Youth Club ‘Neath Youth Troop’ for young people who have speech, language and communication difficulties. The youth club meets weekly and provides young people with opportunities to socialise and try new and exciting activities. It has been running for just over 4 years, about 24 young people attend weekly with 30 young people on role.

The Youth Club has been of huge benefit to the children and young people who attend. These young people are often excluded from mainstream provision due to their difficulties with social interaction and their vulnerability. Kim’s work with the young people who attend the Club has seen them achieve things they and their families would never have expected from outdoor challenges to public speaking to using public transport independently. 

Several of the members have gone on to volunteer at the club, helping with the younger children and continuing to develop their own social interactions. The volunteering offers an opportunity to strengthen their CVs and enrich their lives, and supports their work towards the Duke of Edinburgh award.

In a recent newsletter group members explained that the Youth Club offered a friendly community where everyone can feel safe, a weekly respite from home-life, and a place to unwind with no expectations or judgement.

As part of her day job with the Health Board Kim is one of only three Speech and Language Therapists in South Wales working with children and young people who are in, or are at risk of entering the Youth Justice Service. She has also been instrumental in setting up speech and language therapy services for children and young people attending Hillside Secure Residential Unit.

This has involved training staff in the Youth Justice Service in the recognition of speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) as well as working directly with clients. She has also developed a screening programme to support the identification of young people with SLCN. The screening assessment has received national recognition and is included on the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists website as an example of best practice.

Although Kim finds presenting and speaking at conferences terrifying, she has been determined to ensure that other professionals are aware of the prevalence and impact of undiagnosed speech, language and communication difficulties in young people involved in criminal activity. Despite her fears, Kim has presented at national and local conferences, and as a result of her work, locally, the speech, language and communication needs of young people are now recognised and appropriately supported.

Amy Buckingham 7 months ago

This idea has been advanced to the current phase

Amy Buckingham 7 months ago

This idea has been moved back to the previous phase

Amy Buckingham 7 months ago

This idea has been advanced to the current phase

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