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* 2015 *

Due to a very serious illness in October 2013 I have not worked as a Speech and Language Therapist for some time now.  I have kept my CPD updated to the best of my ability, reading up date research, attending local CPD activities and learning much online via forums, tweet chats, etc. and via involvement with an AAC theatre project. 

However, my recovery from severe sepsis and several emergency operations to save my life has been as slow as could be expected.  Now I am 60 and my hopes of being "semi-retired", by returning to clinical practice part-time, have become increasingly unrealistic.

I have loved being a Speech and Language Therapist and am so very glad that this was the profession that I chose. The only other option I seriously considered was being a radio operator on a ship. Who knows how that might have turned out. 

Since 2007, when I was so very lucky to wander by chance into a ukulele session, I have become more and more involved with "the ukulele world", learning to play and sing and write songs, making song sheets for a ukulele club, making videos, blogging and contributing tips and technical information to online forums, etc.  In the last two years I have also organised ukulele workshops run by some fabulous international musicians and tutors.

After being made redundant in 2009 from my full-time post at Communicate for 26 years, friends have encouraged me to direct my energy, enthusiasm and what talents I have in the direction of music making. 

I had no experience of "music making" until 2007, unless you count bell-ringing, and I alway considered myself to be profoundly "unmusical".  Despite that, my New Years Resolution for as long as I can remember had been, "To learn how to sing", though I had no idea how to go about that. 

I cannot begin to explain how very, very lucky I feel I have been to "found music".   It has been steadily taking over my life in the same way that Speech and Language Therapy and Union activities did for so many years.  I have so much to learn about music!

Yesterday I contacted RCSLT to change my membership status to "retired".  I do not know if that means I need to remove "MRCSLT" after my name here.  There is no information on the RCSLT web site about "retired members" so I will have to write in to ask.

From what I have said about music and singing, you might guess that my existing "special interest" in Voice has been magnified over the last few years, with a particular interest in the singing voice. So, I am retaining my membership of the British Voice Association (BVA).

Next week I should receive a "voluntary de-registration form" from the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). I have already removed the HCPC badge from this page and I need to update Twitter bio's and anywhere else it appears.

When HCPC de-registration has gone through, I will have to remember to say, "I was a Speech and Language Therapist" not "I am a Speech and Language Therapist".  I have been one for so long that I suspect that it is going to be rather like after someone very close to you dies, when for a while you keep referring to them in the present tense.

When anyone asks me, "What do you do?", for the last couple of years I have tended to reply, "Mostly I just mess around with the ukulele!". 

The difference during my working life was that the answer to "What do you do?" was not an answer that referred to an activity but an answer that referred to an identity. Not, "I do Speech and Language Therapy" but "I am a Speech and Language Therapist".

I have always thought that the statement or answer, "I am retired" seemed very odd.  Similarly when taking a case-history, writing or ticking "Retired", struck me as strange.  Even more of a "non-answer" than "Unemployed"

Although those answers carry information in terms of previous or temporarily suspended engagement in some  undefined remunerated activity, they are about as elucidating as "I am in Business" or "in Management" or "I work from home".  (Yeah - but doing what, exactly?!)

For myself, perhaps I just need to think of a slightly less self-disparaging form of words than, �Mostly I just mess around with the ukulele�  . . . Maybe I have already started on that tack by choosing the stage name, "Ukulele Allsorts"?

When I have worked that one out I can, if I like, then add, �I used to be a Speech and Language Therapist � and Union rep!�.   Being a Union Rep is also going to stay in my blood forever, I think!

Mmmm . . . there is my �Giving Voice Song� too of course.  I love performing that as part of Giving Voice UK activities!  Do get in touch if you would like me to come along to sing and play it at your Giving Voice event.

Liz Panton
Email (spam protected email address - click to find out):

18 July 2015

* 2012 onwards *

Animated gif elephants trundling into distance

Since 2012 almost all updates have been added to the blog at

The exceptions are:

This site - originally - has been up and running since 2002.

That url still works, as it redirects now to

See below for info about new content in previous years.

* Giving Voice UK and Hello 2011

My contribution to the these campaigns so far has been:
  • to set up an SLTags collaborative dictionary, to help support RCSLT's push to get SLT's involved with Social Media as part of the Giving Voice UK campaign,

  • and to write a "Giving Voice" song on the ukulele.
For more info, see:

I hope that the SLTags dictionary, and other information on that page also helps SLTs access free, online CPD activities.  This is, of course, especially relevant to SLTs during periods of unemployment.

I could not think of anything to do specifically in support of Hello 2011, except publicising events and activities via Social Media and the slt-north email list, so I have done that. I hope that the support for involvement in Social Media and access to free CPD also helps to support the aims of Hello 2011, the UK Year of Communication.

Giving Voice - Julie Carr's presentation - Newbiggin on Sea Liz Panton with ukulele 04-10-2011

* Video Selection off-YouTube *

Problems accessing SLT / SLP videos on YouTube at work?

The owners of these video's have kindly given permission for them to be uploaded "off-YouTube" for viewing here:
Video Tutorials

* SLT websites and blogs in the North East and Cumbria *

Please do not rely on this list or these links! They were last updated in 2015

 * Other features * 

2018: Some of these have been deleted or disabled due to broken links or links that have become unsafe over time

  1. News Clips - headlines from the SLT-North email list: DELETED
  2. Canny SLT Web - updates from SLT sites in Cumbria and the North East: DELETED
  3. SLTNorth JOBS - updates from NHS Jobs plus other SLT jobs in the area: DELETED
  4. SLTFreeStuff - found on the web and tweeted to you: DELETED
  5. More subscription options - to help you to get the news the way you want Twitter and a FaceBook Public Page were added in 2010.


You can find this site at either of these addresses: and

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This page was last updated by Liz Panton on: 30 June 2018. Whole sections removed as they had become obsolete with dead links.