The Let’s Be Clear campaign launches!
Barnwood Trust, plus local partners, launch the Let’s Be Clear campaign for clear face masks and clearer communication across Gloucestershire.
The Let’s Be Clear campaign has now launched. Barnwood has joined forces with a group of voluntary and charitable organisations for a campaign to see more people wearing clear face masks in public places, to reduce communication barriers and isolation for a wide range of people.
During lockdown, we wanted to understand the impact of Covid-19 on disabled people and people with mental health challenges in Gloucestershire. Our Research Team spoke to local VCS organisations and individuals to find out about their experiences. As a result, the Our Changing World report was published.
The report surfaced a number of important issues for people, including a need for clearer and more accessible information, and the impact of mask wearing in public on people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
With further investigation, following the report, it became apparent that non-clear face masks increase communication difficulties and isolation for a wide range of people who rely on lip reading and facial expressions to communicate.
Let’s Be Clear campaign
Let’s Be Clear is a campaign for clear face masks and clearer communication across Gloucestershire. We want to see more people wearing clear face masks in public places to reduce communication barriers and isolation. This affects people who are deaf or hard of hearing, people with a learning disability, autism, dementia, or English as a second language, as well as people with speech difficulties – so, thousands of people across our county.
Campaigns Lead Lucy Adam: “The Our Changing World report highlighted that changes to the way we interact and the lack of accessible information during the pandemic have disproportionately affected disabled people. We can all help by being more aware and making simple adaptations like swapping our face mask for a clear one. The benefits will be different for different people but finding ways to connect and have easier conversations feels like something we can all can get on board with.”
Many local organisations are also passionate about this work and have joined the Let’s Be Clear campaign, so far this includes Gloucestershire Deaf Association, Inclusion Gloucestershire, Age UK Gloucestershire, Active Impact, Cheltenham Welcomes Refugees, University of Gloucestershire, Diocese of Gloucester, and Cheltenham Borough Homes.
Support the campaign
The Let’s Be Clear campaign website is packed with resources to share, such as animations, posters, clear mask-making tutorials and places to buy clear face masks for friends and family. People in public-facing roles, such as shop assistants, hairdressers, pharmacists, librarians and so on, are encouraged in particular to wear a clear face mask at work as this will make a huge difference to the lives of people who rely on lip reading and facial expressions to communicate.
Not everyone will want to, or have access to a clear face mask so, as part of the campaign, communication hints and tips are being shared to help make conversation a bit easier for everyone. It’s about making sure people are included and welcomed into public spaces, and information is clearer for everyone. For instance, do spaces, signs and leaflets work well for people with different access requirements?
“We want people from local organisations and community groups to get involved with the campaign. It would be great to capture stories about clear face masks making a difference and to share examples of how clearer communication supports people to feel less isolated during this time.” (Campaigns Lead, Lucy Adam)
To find out more about the Let’s Be Clear campaign and to get involved, either as a local organisation or community member, visit www.letsbeclearcampaign.org, email Lucy Adam at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01242 539935