One of our Halstead residents, Matt Hunter, has played a starring role in two new videos created by UK Power Networks, in association with the national Makaton charity.

Matt, along with his support person Jane Springett, were chosen for the videos to show people who use Makaton how to get help in a power cut and stay safe around electricity. The videos can also be viewed on our YouTube channel.

Designed to be used alongside spoken language, Makaton involves the use of signs and symbols to aid those with communication difficulties. The film also featured Makaton expert Mike Harrison, from the charity.

TLC Care and Support’s Director of Operations Alan Betts said: “Matt was excited to have been chosen to appear in these videos, which we will feel will be extremely useful for organisations in the care sector and we commend UK Power Networks’ initiative in using Makaton to make this information available.”

Kerry Potter, UK Power Networks’ Consumer Vulnerability Manager, said: “We are proud to be providing resources for people with complex communication needs, making sure they have equal access to our services and feel truly included.

“We want to lead the way in providing a fairer and more inclusive system for all our customers and these videos are part of that work. Our employees are mindful of individual differences and needs, and we are always looking for new and effective ways to cater for them.”

Mike Harris, said: “By embarking on a programme of ensuring they are communicating with all their service user groups, UK Power Networks is clearly demonstrating they are proactively mindful of individual difference and needs and are working to cater for these. By using Makaton with those with communication challenges, they will enable the principles of true inclusion and clearly show they value and respect these people as they do others that use their services.”

In addition to Makaton, UK Power Networks has other inclusive resources such as BSL, Braille, EasyRead, audio and it provides information in the top 14 non-English languages. The company has won multiple awards for customer care and has just been re-certified by BSI for inclusive service provision.