A SPECIALIST speech and language therapist at Airedale Hospital has received a national accolade.

Stephanie Burgess has been presented with a Giving Voice Award in recognition of her “outstanding skills” in raising awareness of how speech and language therapy can transform lives.

The awards are given annually by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

Stephanie penned a poem about the role of the therapists.

And her words were delivered via an online video by star names including actor and broadcaster Sir Michael Palin and comedians Lee Ridley and Nina Conti.

The video was widely shared via social media and viewed more than 6,500 times.

An awards spokesman said: “These awards celebrate individuals and organisations that have made particularly valuable contributions to improving the lives of people with communication and/or swallowing needs.

“The judges were impressed with how Stephanie penned the poem about the role of speech and language therapists and secured key influencers to deliver it via video.

“The video conveyed a powerful message about how speech and language therapists help people with communication and swallowing difficulties in a creative and sustainable format.”

The awards were presented in a ceremony at the Council House, Nottingham, by the Countess of Wessex – patron of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

Stephanie said she was “hugely grateful” and honoured to be nominated for the award and was delighted at the response to her poem.

She added: “I wrote the poem to raise awareness of the amazing and vital work that speech and language therapists do and to flag-up the potentially-devastating impact of communication difficulties on people’s lives. The response has been incredible, both from within the profession and from those people who have reason to be grateful to the therapists for their support.

“I was thrilled to receive the award from the Countess of Wessex at a wonderful celebratory evening, where it was lovely to meet other award winners and celebrate the achievements of people working hard to raise the profile of our profession. I hope my poem will help people to better understand what it is that we do.”