Celebrating National Volunteer Week: Steph Pullen

03 Jun 2020
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National Volunteers' Week is an opportunity to thank amazing volunteers all over the country. In Peterborough, we're celebrating the people who have helped to deliver our work digitally during lockdown.

Steph Pullen is currently studying a Music degree at the University of Lincoln, but her love of the subject started in primary school (she attended William Law Primary, here in Peterborough). As well as music, Steph has used British Sign Language (BSL) from a young age and has offered us her skills in both subjects to make nursery rhymes accessible to as many children as possible.

Another one of our Literacy Champions introduced us to Steph after she made a BSL cover of a pop song for a local secondary school. Steph then made us BSL video of the nursery rhyme Old McDonald had a Farm, which was extremely popular on our Facebook page- accruing 1,500 views in 12 hours.

Research shows that singing songs and nursery rhymes has a positive impact on a child's literacy skills as they grow older.[1] The rhythm and repetition in nursery rhymes helps young children develop the language skills they need to learn how to talk. Therefore, combining nursery rhymes with sign language helps to make the world more accessible and introduces hearing children to different communication methods.

Steph's second video is a cover of I can sing a rainbow in which she does the signing, ukulele playing, and the singing! You can watch the video below or on the Peterborough Reads Facebook page.

Volunteers like Steph help to make our campaigns community driven and they very often broaden the scope of what we do. If you're interested in volunteering for Peterborough Reads during lockdown and beyond please get in touch with Lisa at lisa.clisset@literacytrust.org.uk.

'I can sing a Rainbow' in British Sign Language, Steph Pullen

This week is National Volunteers' week and the National Literacy Trust currently has over 100 volunteers helping to deliever all of our regional work across the country. Here in Peterborough, we consider ourselves very lucky to have Steph Pullen, who has made this amazing cover of the nursery rhyme 'I can sing a rainbow' using British Sign Language. "By bringing together my passion for both BSL and music, I create ways to bring both to life in a fun, yet educational way that I hope everyone is able to enjoy." You can find out more about Steph over on our website:https://literacytrust.org.uk/news/celebrating-national-volunteer-week-steph-pullen/

Posted by Peterborough Reads on Wednesday, 3 June 2020

I want to go into paediatric Music Thearpy or primary school teaching, and creating a fully inclusive and accessible learning environment are both driving factors for my motivation. By bringing together my passion for both BSL and music, I long to create ways to bring both to life in a fun, yet educational way, that I hope everyone is able to enjoy. The videos have been a great success and have loved seeing the feedback. It is humbling to know that something so simple can have a real impact for so many children and their families. By volunteering for Peterborough Reads, I am able to help people in a way that is dear to me and I am extremely grateful for this opportunity.

Steph Pullen