I have always secretly wanted to be a movie star. I lack most of the basic requirements (acting skills, looks, that sort of thing) but against all the odds I have now achieved my ambition! Check out our new whiteboard animation
Yes, I am Jacob, although I can't claim to be as good looking as the animated version of me. I have less hair for a start. But how did I get to reach the giddy heights of whiteboard animation fame? (and fortune to follow, perhaps... or maybe not)
Well, it comes from being part of the "parent panel" supporting the Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit and specifically the Child Talk - What Works programme of research. The aim of the panel is to act as a bridge between the research and the public, trying to help the research team find ways to reach and engage the public and then to make the findings of the research accessible to the public. We've helped to write questionnaires and information leaflets and said "what does that actually mean?" a lot, when faced with mind boggling research jargon.
And so to our most recent task: a short film to promote the research project to other parents. It took about 30 seconds to agree that none of us on the panel could act, so an animation seemed the best way forward. Someone suggested a whiteboard animation - which was followed by a happy half hour on youtube finding out what they were, some brainstorming to come up with a storyline and a little coercion to get volunteer voices and an artist.
I think it's great fun - I like the style of video, it gets information across in a light-hearted way. We really hope that the message is clear: if you are a parent and you are worried about your child's speech, please consider taking part in this research. The research team can offer loads of resources that might help you, and the views you contribute will shape the outcomes from the research - to help improve speech and language services across the country.